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Die in Celebris, 1912. 


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L'ABBE CH. SAUVE, S.S. - xxxiv 

REV. PERE FOCH, S.J. - xxxvi 

PERE G. VALLEE, O.P. - xxxix 



CHAPTER I. : CHILDHOOD. Elizabeth's birth, family, and 
education She overcomes her natural defects of 
character Death of her father Her conversion 
Her musical talent Her first Communion The 
" House of God " Visits to Carcassonne - 3 14 

CHAPTER II.: THE DIVINE CALL. She resolves to give 
herself wholly to God Her vow of virginity Her 
home Her vocation is tested Her sister pleads for 
her Elizabeth's diary 15 28 

CHAPTER III. : THE MISSION OF 1899. Apostolic zeal 
Correspondence with grace Sorrow for sin A general 
confession Fervent gratitude The end of the mis- 
sion 29 40 

spirit of prayer Her degree of prayer Her influence 
O crux, ave, spes unica ! Her intercourse with 
Carmel Her last retreat while in the world - 41 52 




Lourdes The Carmel of Dijon The hour of grace 
Faith and self-renunciation Letters and souvenirs 
August 2, 1901 - 53 64 


CHAPTER VI. : THE POSTULANT. The chief characteristics 
of a Carmelite vocation Impetuous joy Recollection 
Echoes from the cloister Fervent preparation for 
her clothing The ceremony 67 78 

CHAPTER VII.: THE NOVITIATE. " The dark night" 
The reward of trial The secret of happiness The 
profession retreat The bride of Christ Sanctity 
Heaven within the soul 79 92 

CHAPTER VIII. : "LAUDEM GLORIJE." A life of faith 
The teaching of St. Paul Laudem gloria The spirit 
of praise perfects the virtues Second portress The 
guardian angel A penitential spirit Sister Elizabeth 
of the Trinity in community life 93 108 

CHAPTER IX. : THE INNER LIFE. Continual prayer The 
retreat of 1 904 Prayer Devotion to the Holy Trinity 
and the Blessed Virgin November 21, 1904 "The 
only thing I do is to enter into myself" 109 1 1 8 

The first anniversary All Souls' Day, 1902 Filial 
affection Divine Providence " My two lovely 
lilies " The mystery of divine adoption 1 19 132 

CHAPTER XI. : " SOLA SOLI." Letters of condolence 
" How simple it is to die !" Thirst for self-sacrifice 
Retreat of 1905 Impressions of the last hour A 
presentiment 133 141 



SELF. St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death A 
helpful retreat Lent and St. Paul The Venerable 
Marguerite du Saint Sacrament Palm Sunday Self- 
surrender A sudden improvement in health Letters 
to relatives - 145 159 



The altar of sacrifice Past and present A touching 
interview Letters The glories of Carmel A royal 
palace - 160 171 

of Lisieux " A night of grace The Queen of Virgins 
and Martyrs Janua cali The little tribune 
August 2, 1906 Last retreat 172 184 

CHAPTER XV. : JOY IN SACRIFICE. Nocturnal Lauds The 
school of the saints Confidential letters Strong 
advice Thirst for self-abasement Humiliations A 
characteristic letter Life echoed in a letter - 185 194 

CHAPTER XVI. : LAST CONSOLATIONS. Overflowing charity 
October 4 The triduum With Him she loved 
Preparing for a clothing The ceremony The " con- 
suming fire " - 195 208 

visit to the parlour Love and glory Extreme 
unction The dying nun A symbolic dream The 
Angelas Heaven The Feast of the Dedication 209 224 





FRIEND - - '--26l 














ELIZABETH CATEZ, the daughter of an officer in the 
French army, was born July 10, 1880. The family 
settled at Dijon, and after the premature death of the 
father, the mother devoted herself entirely to her two 
daughters, who, in return, were passionately fond of 
her and of each other. It was an ideal household 
pious, but not narrow-minded, cheerful, and evidently 
in comfortable circumstances. At the time of her 
first Communion Elizabeth learnt to overcome her 
temper ; she also made up her mind to become a 
nun indeed, the thought was not new even then. 
The wise mother did not oppose the child, but her 
education must be completed. An attractive proposal 
of marriage was but half-heartedly entertained by the 
mother, and not at all by the daughter. Instead of this, 
the love of our Lord grew steadily in the child's heart 
until it reigned supreme, and at length exclusively. 
The mother foresaw the ultimate issue, but demurred 
until the daughter had come of age, and then she 
hastened the sacrifice which must have been greater 
for her than for her child. The latter entered the 
Carmelite convent at Dijon, August 2, 1 901 ; took the 
habit on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 
made her profession January n, 1903, received the 
veil on the 2ist, and died, after an illness of eight 
months, November 9, 1906. 



It was a short and happy, if uneventful, life. 
There is a custom in many convents of sending out 
a circular after the death of a nun, giving a short 
account of the life and virtues of the deceased. In 
this case the Superiors and sisters were able to say 
much of the interior life of Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity. Many of the recipients thought that 
where there was so much to say there might be 
more, and with the help of notes left by the 
deceased, the reminiscences of friends, and letters 
written both before and after her entrance into 
religion, a " Life " was published in 1 909, and found 
so many readers that reprints followed each other in 
rapid succession. The present volume is a transla- 
tion of this ' Life." 

The reader will instinctively turn to another " Life" 
of a French Carmelite nun, Teresa of the Holy 
Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, known as the 
" Little Flower of Jesus," who was the senior of 
Elizabeth by six, and predeceased her by nine, years. 
They were, therefore, not exactly contemporaries. 
They had much in common, but there is also a 
difference which appears in their photographs: the 
" Little Flower " looks merry, Elizabeth happy. A 
large tree is covered with thousands of leaves, all 
similar, but no two alike. Happiness is the 
dominant note in the life of Elizabeth. It was the 
result of her exquisitely tender love of our Lord a 
sound, wholesome love, not in the least hysterical ; a 
love that made her yearn for humiliation, mortifica- 
cation, and even suffering, in imitation of Jesus. 
" Do not deceive yourself," said a friend. " God 
takes such souls as yours at their word. ... By 
entering Carmel you are plunging into an abyss of 


suffering. ..." She replied : " I am ready to take 
the plunge. I hope to suffer severely, that is my 
reason for entering Carmel ; and if the good God 
were to deprive me of suffering for a single day I 
should fear He had forgotten me." Accordingly 
she had much to suffer, but her suffering was ever 
tempered with an overwhelming sense of happiness. 
It would seem, however, that she was spared as 
was also the " Little Flower " the keenest trials, 
such as a sense of dereliction and interior darkness ; 
perhaps these are reserved for maturer years. As an 
example of the kind of suffering that fell to her lot 
may be mentioned the pathetic story though belong- 
ing to the earlier part of her life of the conversion 

of Monsieur N , so passionately prayed for 

during a mission at Dijon. Hope, desire, all but 
the accomplishment of her most ardent wishes, 
disappointment, fear, and despair, succeeded each 
other ; she was already a nun when news reached her 
of the apparently impenitent death of Monsieur 
N . 

Many are the saints and saintly persons of whose 
consuming love of our Lord thrilling accounts have 
been given. Human language is poor in describing 
the deepest emotions. In this life we hear much that 
we have heard before, but rarely have words carried 
conviction more forcibly : Elizabeth died of love. 

The " Little Flower of Jesus " has taken the 
world by storm. There is every indication that 
Elizabeth of the Trinity will prove the peer of her 
saintly sister in religion. 



Feast of All Saints, 1912. 







October 15, 1912, 

Feast of St. Teresa. 


A short time ago, while in your chapel, I 
was wondering with what words of praise I should 
couple the approbation you are awaiting for the new 
edition of a volume for which an ever-increasing 
desire is manifested. While I mused, I was struck 
by the intimate conviction that the book is its own 
recommendation, as will be evident to whoever reads 
it carefully. 

The Holy Spirit is acting in a marvellous manner 
within the Church in our days. Every age has 
witnessed such special interventions adapted to the 
social condition, the religious mentality of the epoch. 
Their diversity, as shown by history, does but more 
clearly demonstrate the unity of this continuous 
action. It is the meeting together of divine truth 
and mercy in order to carry on the work of redemp- 
tion, to enlighten, to purify, and to save mankind. 

Positivism has now penetrated everywhere ; it has 



raised for the masses a solid wall between the visible 
and the supernatural order of creation. It has de- 
clared that there is no real intercourse between one 
world and the other, for that on which man dwells 
alone exists ; that no ray of light filters through this 
wall, for there is but one light that which illumines 
the earth. Multitudes of souls pass to and fro 
beside this barrier of materialism and infidelity, 
careless as to what may be behind it, never even 
raising their eyes to see whether a glimpse of blue 
sky can be seen above its coping. They fully verify 
the Psalmist's mournful denunciation : " They keep 
their eyes fixed on the earth." 

Yet the Lord of life does not leave us to gaze 
for ever undisturbed upon so desolate a future. 
Not only does He open heaven to our hopes, but He 
descends into our very being, dwells in us, associates 
us in time with His eternal life the unspeakable 
mystery known to the Church from the very first. 
Yet it is wonderful to witness how this truth is being 
demonstrated in the world by chosen souls, whatever 
their character, their state of life, or their mentality. 
It consoles us, while offering us the presage of the 
dawn of a regeneration, to behold, amid the wicked- 
ness and impiety of our times, souls so penetrated 
by divine life that they can exclaim with the Apostle: 
" I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." There 
is no such commotion as ushers in great social or 
historical changes ; God descends into His creatures 
to sanctify the individual, and by increasing the 
number of His elect, will obtain salvation for the 
many. The rushing, mighty wind is hushed, the 
era of public revelation is closed, yet the mystic 
Dove maintains Its flight and rests upon souls of 


goodwill. The same work is still performed. As 
Pere Foch says in his luminous little work on 
the Interior Life : " This coming, this approach, of 
the Holy Spirit to our souls constitutes what is 
termed by theologians an invisible mission of the 
Holy Ghost. But this invisible mission differs from 
the solemn, visible, striking mission known under 
the name of Pentecost solely by its accessory, external 
characteristics ; radically, the mystery is the same in 
both cases. . . ." 

As in the former case, in order that the marvels 
of this second and continual Pentecost may be known 
to the whole world, God raises up apostles. And it 
is one aspect of the marvellous action of which I 
have been speaking, that, as a rule, He raises them 
chiefly from the cloister, from the midst of solitude, 
at the very time when the cloistered life is most 
severely condemned and persecuted. The voice of 
the messengers proclaiming the reality, the beauty, 
the ecstasy "of our fellowship with the Father 
and His Son/'* as St. John expresses it, has been 
heard issuing for some time past from our monas- 
teries and from numerous quarters. I could cite 
many, but Catholic piety already knows of them. I 
will only speak of Carmel, and there specify, with 
mingled pride and emotion, Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity, a member of the humble community of the 
Carmel of Dijon. One day the Dove rested upon 
her, and stayed until It took Its flight with her when 
death changed her life of union by grace into the life 
of union in glory. 

The book, of which, although several editions 
have been published, another is already required, 

* i St. John i. 3. 


affords abundant proof of what was the office designed 
for your dear daughter, and of the mission which, 
under Providence, she carries out to-day. The 
fervent Carmelite has been chosen by God as an 
apostle of the continual Pentecost of the Holy Ghost 
within souls. She who said, " I have found heaven 
on earth, since heaven is God, and God is in my 
soul," leads those who ponder over her life and who 
have recourse to her to seek for " the dwelling of 
the Word in the soul of the just." From all parts 
of the world people assure us of this fact. Sister 
Teresa of the Infant Jesus witnesses indefatigably to 
supernatural intervention in earthly matters, and to 
the influence exercised by trustful prayer upon God. 
Elizabeth of the Trinity, whose glory shines with a 
milder lustre as though seen beneath the veil of the 
tabernacle, initiates souls into the unspeakable secrets 
of a life hidden with God in Jesus Christ. She felt 
a sort of prophetic intuition of her office, for she 
declared : " I believe that in heaven my mission will 
be to draw souls to interior recollection by helping 
them to go out from self and to adhere to God by a 
perfectly simple and loving impulse ; to keep them 
in that profound inner silence which allows God to 
imprint Himself upon souls and to transform them 
into Himself." 

How many letters we receive from the most 
distant lands, telling us of the stirring action of your 
apostle ! How many visitors secretly kneel beside 
her tomb to win her intercession with her " Three," 
as she used to term the Divine Persons ! And, no 
doubt in order to confirm men's faith in the reality 
of her mission, we are told that outward signs, and 
even the cure of diseases, reward the trust placed in 


her intercession. This is the realization, becoming 
daily more incontestible, of the hope expressed by 
you when first you published your Souvenirs. You 
wrote : " May the fragrance of this life of prayer 
draw many souls to the interior life, the school of 
perfect self-renunciation !" Render thanks to God. 
The " Life of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity " is 
revealing to many a soul in France "the gift of 
God." The foreign translations of the book prove 
that her " voice is heard unto the ends of the earth.'" 
It is for you, in the austere peace of your Carmel,, 
the school of the illustrious and saintly reformer 
whose deeds we heard recounted this evening, to> 
help the victorious apostolate of your young sister by 
your prayers, your sacrifices, and your virtues. May 
these powerful intercessions spread the kingdom of 
God, above all, in our dear Burgundy. This is my 
chief hope, my most fervent wish ! 


Eveque de Dijon. 





September 24, 1909. 

FOR the last few days 1 have taken my spiritual 
reading from the proof-sheets of the " Reminiscences 
of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity." 

I have thus made acquaintance with a soul of a 
beauty I believe to be unrivalled even in Carmel. 

May I be allowed to offer a few remarks, together 
with the Imprimatur which I give to this exquisite 
work ? 

Our little sister's life was spent within a narrow 
limit of time twenty-six years. But, though only 
the last six of her few years were spent behind the 
grille of the cloister, we should be inclined to think, 
and even to assert, that Elizabeth was a Carmelite 
almost from her birth. 

When at seven years old the sweet child declared 
that she " would be a nun," she was one already, so 
far as the gratuitous gift of attraction was concerned, 
and never ceased to develop the religious spirit by 
her exceptional recollection, her mortification which 
she practised while in the world by a thousand little 

xvii b 


secret sacrifices, her most careful watchfulness over 
self, and finally by her zeal, all of which are specific 
virtues of the Carmelite vocation. Indeed, it might 
be said that it was the grace of her baptism which led 
her unerringly to the heights from which she passed 
straight to those of Carmel : " In Carmeli veriicem." 

Fortunately for us, our sister has unconsciously 
helped us to paint her portrait. Part of her diary, 
written before she entered the convent, and later on, 
her letters, her notes of retreats, and her poems, are 
the sources from which she is vividly depicted for 
those who never knew her, or who only caught a 
passing glimpse of her. 

The merit of Elizabeth's poems lies chiefly in 
their purpose, their ardour, and their expression. 
As for her prose, it is genuinely beautiful. Some of 
her letters are real masterpieces. 

Her object, in all she wrote, was to impart a share 
of the light of Carmel to those she had left in the 
world. She drew liberally from her store, which 
was invariably the most solid teachings of the 
Gospel. How she understood St. Paul ! . . . 

We wonder, as we read her letters, where she 
could have learnt her style. Her very soul is poured 
out in them and what a delightful soul it is, in its 
simplicity, its freshness, its serenity ! 

Her idea is always pregnant and exact ; the high- 
toned feeling which animates it, giving it reality, is 
constantly clothed in expressions of extraordinary 
force or grace. 

However, this is far from being a question of 
literary merit. 

I will only say to those who look upon the cloister 
as the tomb or family affection : " Read our Eliza- 


beth's letters to her mother and sister and show 
us anything you think can compare to such intensity 
of love for kith and kin." 

I give my blessing to the " Reminiscences," and 
also to the hand that has so deftly woven the simple 
crown of earthly glory for her little "Praise of 
Glory," as Sister Elizabeth styled herself in this life. 


Eveque de Dijon. 





November 8, 1909. 


I waited to thank you for the delightful 
volume of " Reminiscences " of your sister and 
daughter Elizabeth until I had finished reading it, 
which did not take me long, for the book is fascina- 
ting and most helpful. 

It is difficult to know which to admire the most 
in this young nun her precocious and valiant virtue ; 
her warmth of love for our Lord and her faith in 
Him ; her teaching, as sublime as it is solid, carried 
forth in her actions ; her intense union with God, 
or her share, even in this world, in the joys and the 
occupations of the blessed in heaven. What is there 
wanting to the sanctity of this daughter of St. Teresa ? 
How wonderful are the ways of the Holy Spirit ! 
For these marvels are His doing, so that we cease 
to wonder, as we thank God for creating such a soul, 
for giving it to your Order and your loved com- 
munity, and for having shown it, by your means, in 
all the radiance of its beauty. 

I thank you, Reverend Mother, for having written 



these reminiscences, in which you have taken so 
intimate a part, as well as for your having presented 
me with a copy. May my gratitude be shared by all 
the souls who read and meditate on them, and who 
feel incited to run in the odour of the virtues of your 
holy daughter. 

This is the grace which we shall ask her by her 
loving intercession to win for us both to-morrow, the 
third anniversary of her happy death. 

Thank you for your prayers for the humble 
jubilarian, who sends you his blessing. 

Archbishop of Sinnade^ O.P. 





December 24, 1909. 


It is hardly twelve years since your sisters of 
Lisieux published the wonderful and touching history 
of one of the youngest of their number, who died in 
the odour of sanctity at the age of twenty-four. 
The book was a great success. Many a soul felt 
deep emotion on reading the exquisite pages which 
so lucidly set forth virtues both heroic and cap- 

Never, in modern times, had the spirit of Carmel 
shone forth more clearly, never had it been more 
easy to understand the union in that spirit of sweet- 
ness and austerity of Rule, of joy and suffering, of 
peaceful and trusting simplicity, in the combat between 
divine love and nature. And now, Sister Teresa 
of the Infant Jesus has a gentle rival, who, though 
never for a moment suspecting it, is her equal in 
perfection and beauty of soul. It is the young girl, 
I might almost say the child, whose life you relate 
under the modest title of " Reminiscences." 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity lived twenty-six 
years, five of which were spent in your fervent com- 



munity. Her character was frank and gay ; she was 
very intelligent, and, like St. Teresa your matchless 
Mother, she delighted in what was clear and practical, 
loving and kind-hearted, ardent and refined. She 
thirsted for self-denial and sacrifice, and possessed, in 
the highest sense of the word, the art of making 
herself loved. " Something I cannot describe 
seemed to emanate from her," said one of her friends : 
" it was so pure, so ardent, yet so gentle ; it was as 
sweet and mild as the fragrance of virtue itself." 
She would, had she cared to do so, have won many a 
triumph in the world ; indeed, I venture to affirm 
that it would be impossible for any man who, though 
he held no religious belief, had any spark of upright- 
ness, to read the book you have just written without 
involuntarily feeling the angelic charm of your little 
saint. How lovable she was, yet how strong in the 
fulfilment of duty, however painful it might be ! How 
she combined a love of God with a love of all that 
deserves our respect ! What a marvellous harmony 
there was in her of human qualities and divine 
grace ! 

What appears to me the most remarkable in the 
life of Sister Elizabeth is the exact conformity of her 
views, her special devotions, her interior life and 
her words with the soundest principles of mystic 
theology. Your dear daughter always kept to the 
right path. No act of hers throws a shadow over the 
picture that her virtues paint so brilliantly ; no speech 
from her lips ever jars the melody of the ceaseless 
canticle sung by her love to Jesus. She did not 
refine on truths, her imagination never carries her 
away from the regions of sane reason reason taught 
by faith and animated by love. Subtle or confused 


ideas are unknown to her. Her thought is always 
exact, therefore she expresses it exactly, in unstudied 
words. How well she knows and penetrates the 
sense of the Holy Scriptures, especially the epistles 
of the great St. Paul, for whom, as is not surprising, 
her fervent heart feels a special attraction ! How in- 
teresting and correct are her explanations of the most 
sublime parts of the writings of St. John of the 
Cross ! Who is it that speaks with such decision 
and elevation of mind ? A priest who has for many 
years practised the study of theology and mental 
prayer ? It would be difficult to recognize, among 
these simple yet clear elucidations marked by such 
vigorous logic, the soul of a young girl, did not the 
warmth and grace of a style always refined and pure 
and often lively and playful, give a matchless charm 
to all Elizabeth's writings. 

Like St. Teresa, the dear little sister loved true, 
strong, and high teaching above all things. Hence, 
doubtless, came the ease and spontaneity of her 
impulse, the constant advancement in her aspirations 
towards the right, and her wonderful generosity in 
yielding herself to the divine action. Abandonment 
to grace was her method of loving God. The 
supreme beauty of sacred love and the exigencies of 
the Carmelite vocation, were so thoroughly under- 
stood by her, that her one desire was to be united to 
her Bridegroom by a love that had no limit. " I 
want to love Him so dearly, to love Him like my 
seraphic Mother, until I die of very love," she wrote 
one day, and she adds words which are a true and 
splendid eulogy for your Order, Reverend Mother : 
" It seems to me so simple to live for love in 


But love necessarily implies suffering. And so 
Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity wished to follow our 
Lord bravely, untiringly, from Bethlehem to Calvary 
and to the altar. She did not think of suffering of 
body or of soul as of a necessity to which we must 
resign ourselves, or even that it is to be accepted in 
the spirit of faith and fortitude, but it was the object 
of her dearest wishes, and, as it were, the indispens- 
able condition of her devotion for Christ. She 
declared that " Suffering attracted her more and 
more, so that her longing for it was almost stronger 
than her longing for heaven, strong as that was." 
This irresistible bent of mind, which is that of all 
the saints, grew ever stronger, and the Master never 
failed to satisfy it. Severely tried as she was by 
spiritual dryness, for she needed to pass through the 
" dark night," she ended her life after a long illness, 
accompanied by torturing pain, which the doctor 
called a veritable martyrdom. 

Did she ever spend a day in Carmel without bear- 
ing the cross she kissed so tenderly on entering your 
convent ? It may be taken for granted that she did 
not, for our Lord never omitted perfecting, as He 
perfects His best-loved brides, the little soul that 
strove to be, and was indeed, a " Praise of glory " 
of Him she loved. 

A touching death, or rather, I should say, a 
triumph, ended Sister Elizabeth's short but useful 
life. She had described death as "the slumber of a 
babe on its mother's heart," and she longed to 
attain her union with Jesus quickly. " Let me go !" 
she cried eagerly on All Saints' Day, rather more 
than a week before her entrance into the joys of 
heaven. The delay could not last long. On the 


ninth of November the dear little martyr took her 
flight to the regions where she would for ever con- 
template her "Three," as she used to call the 
adorable Trinity. " I am going to the Light, to 
love, to life !" Are not these touching words, the 
last you ever heard her say, the logical conclusion of 
the work done in her soul by faith, and her inviolable 
fidelity to her love of God? They are a wonderful 
epitome of Elizabeth's vocation, advancement, and 
whole life. 

I must not omit to notice one of the most striking 
points in the character which you, Reverend Mother, 
have depicted for us. It is not peculiar to Elizabeth, 
but belongs to all in Carmel, for St. Teresa con- 
sidered it an essential condition of their vocation. 
I am speaking of the apostolic spirit. Your daughter's 
ardent love of Christ and desire to be a true Car- 
melite made her long to become an apostle. She 
rightly thought that, when united eternally to the 
source of infinite love, she could " show forth God, 
and give Him to souls." This craving of her 
generous heart will be realized more and more as 
time goes on, thanks to your useful publication. 
The holy passion of the saintly young nun for Christ 
will inflame many a heart with the purest charity, and 
a fervent zeal for the most ardent apostolate I mean, 
the devotion to the cause of God and His Church, 
which is so much needed in the present century. 

It gives me great pleasure to tell you how 1 have 
admired this beautiful life, and also to offer my 
humble but sincere homage to the daughters of 
St. Teresa. I have long delighted in the works of 
that loved and great saint. I owe much to Carmel, 
and some of the oldest and dearest recollections of 


my life are connected with your houses. I never 
recall that past without being moved and helped by 
it. So that I am but paying a debt of gratitude 
whenever I can help your Order to any slight extent 
by my words or by my affection for it. 

I give my blessing to the second edition of your 
book, Reverend Mother, and beg to remain yours 
devotedly in our Lord, 


Bishop of Age*. 





February 15, 1910. 


For the glory of God and of Sister Elizabeth 
of the Trinity, the humble nun whose great soul you 
have so vividly described, allow me to tell you what 
an indelible impression the reading of your holy 
" Reminiscences " has made upon me. I call them 
" holy " because they are so full of God that the 
reader must perforce kneel in prayer as he peruses 

Whenever I glance at them this impression is 
more deeply graven on me, and they bring greater 
help to my soul. Those words of Jesus seem to be 
imprinted more and more clearly in my mind : " God 
is a Spirit ; and they that adore Him, must adore 
Him in spirit and in truth,"* and those others of 
Elizabeth's teacher St. Paul : " The temple of God 
is holy, which you are."f 

Very few souls, it seems to me, have had such 
a sense of this adoration in spirit and in truth in the 

* St. John iv. 24. t I Cor. iii. 17. 



temple of their heart as had your spiritual daughter. 
To call Sister Elizabeth the perfect adorer of her God 
would be to describe her adequately. I will explain 

What is adoration, adoration in spirit and in truth ? 

Adoration is the essential, absolute homage 
rendered by the creature to the divine Pre-Eminence, 
to God Who draws us out of nothing, impresses upon 
us the seal of the Holy Trinity, and becomes the 
Divine Guest of the soul transformed by the grace of 
Holy Baptism. 

Adoration is a solemn and profound silence into 
which the adoring soul sinks, acknowledging that 
God is all and the creature nothing. 

Adoration is the proper and immediate act of 
religion, the first of the moral virtues. * It gives the 
whole man, soul and body, to the Lord. Adoration 
is born and developed in the secret depths of his 
soul ; the body reveals it outwardly, making it 
exterior by the requisite worship which completes 
and vivifies the sacrifice, the outward expression of 
the inward adoration. 

For there is an " interior " adoration, on the 
soul's own altar, seen by God alone. This is the 
adoration "in spirit," which is carried on in the inner 
depths of the reasonable being, in his intelligence 
and his will ; an essential, and most important 
adoration, without which that which is exterior lacks 
life. It is, at the same time, the adoration in truth, 
sincere and full, all light and love and rightly 
ordered, since it is true. 

This adoration leads to another kind more 
perfect still, one which is the crown of all religion. 
* St. Thomas, " Sum. Theol.," II., ii., q. 81. 


It is that into which we are initiated by the Word 
Incarnate, the Man God, Jesus Christ, the supreme 
Adorer of God. To " adore in spirit and in truth " 
is to adore the Heavenly Father in union with Christ, 
urged by the Holy Ghost. It is to pass into, to 
enter into Jesus, Who is the Truth ;* to be trans- 
formed into His image ; f to " put on the Lord 
Jesus Christ," J and in this state, " by Him, with 
Him, and in Him," to render all honour and glory 
to "God the Father Almighty in the unity of the 
Holy Spirit." Oh ! how this adoration carries us 
away ! Far from the world and from ourselves, it 
attains to that infinite Essence which is God, where 
the soul, lost to self, becomes a " Praise of glory " to 
the thrice holy God. 

Sister Elizabeth was this " Praise of glory," the 
perfect adorer of the Blessed Trinity " in spirit and 
in truth." I offer as evidence of this the beautiful 
prayer she composed, which is already on the lips of 
everyone. Your devotion, Reverend Mother, can- 
not prompt you to make it too well known, for, not 
only does it perfectly depict the spiritual character of 
your heroic daughter but it is a complete epitome of 
the perfection to which the adoration taught by 
Christianity leads souls. 

Although I might have spoken of your sister's 
other writings, of their matchless charm, their touch- 
ing tenderness, their profound theology, I prefer to 
limit myself and to condense my thoughts. These 
lines, due to you from gratitude, are only the com- 
mentary on this prayer of a poor Carmelite, a prayer 
which breathes forth the whole mystery of our 

* I St. John v. 6. \ 2 Cor. iii. 18. 

\ Rom. xiii. 14. Canon of the Mass. 


union with God, and which reveals the secret of her 
sanctity. Elizabeth truly lived it. 

" O my God !" she says. " Trinity Whom I adore ! 
. . ." She rises at once to her ideal ; she has the 
devotion proper to great souls, devotion to the 
Triune God, and the form of this devotion is 
adoration. From the first, Elizabeth realizes the 
relationship that, as a created being, is established 
between herself and the Blessed Trinity. She knows 
that God, her "Three," as she used to say, was her 
All y the Beatitude to Whom she yields herself as the 
eternal prey in faith and in love. Thus will she 
adore Him for all eternity. 

She gave to this adorable Trinity " a cherished 
dwelling-place, a place of rest." I mean the 
depths of her soul, which was filled with graces of 
every kind, and where, in recollection and unity of 
her powers, she lived in company with her God, " all 
absorbed in Him, in loving faith, adoring Him and 
wholly given up to His creative action." 

Yet Elizabeth did not approach the Blessed 
Trinity save through Jesus Christ. She knew that 
He alone, by means of His Incarnation, has been 
constituted the one perfect and universal Adorer of 
God ; she knew that she could only fitly fulfil her 
office of adorer in proportion as she identified her- 
self with the " Sovereign Priest " of heaven and 
earth and became one with Him, and that chiefly by 
" the fellowship of His sufferings, being made con- 
formable to His death."* It was by suffering that 
she would grow in love, and that, the love by which 
" he who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit." t She 
would be the victim of love, and her sacrifice would 
* Phil. Hi. 10. t i Cor. vi. 17. 


be her special form of adoration. Before long she 
would look like a living crucifix ; she had begged 
the Blessed Trinity so fervently to transform her into 
Jesus, and Jesus crucified I 

She also prayed God the Father " to bend down 
to His poor little creature, beholding in her none 
other than His well-beloved Son, in Whom He 
takes all His pleasure." She implores " the Word, 
the utterance of her God, to let her spend her life in 
listening to Him, that she may learn all from Him " 
in silence. She begs the Holy Ghost, the "con- 
suming Fire, to descend within her, and reproduce 
in her, as it were, an incarnation of the Word, that 
she may be another humanity, wherein He may 
renew all His Mystery." 

She asks this because, having become the bride of 
Christ Whom she loves, she desires " to cover Him 
with glory and to love Him ... till she dies of 
very love !" 

You are dead, Elizabeth, hidden martyr of love, 
and your death was the last and solemn testimony of 
your adoration " in spirit and truth !" Immersed, 
so to speak, in Jesus, wholly possessed by Him and 
substituted for Him, you were the beam emitted by 
His life. Like a consecrated taper, you were slowly 
consumed by the flame of love which devoured your 
pure being. It was by your own choice that you 
were this sacrifice of adoration, for you had said to 
the heavenly Bridegroom : " Spend all my substance 
for Thy glory, let it distil, drop by drop, for Thy 
Church !" Jesus did spend all your substance, and 
the Church, which is already proud of your virtue, 
is elated by your holocaust. . . . 

Excuse this outburst of feeling, Reverend Mother, 


which is partly caused by you. By revealing to us, 
as you have so well known how, the inner being of 
your sister Elizabeth, you raise and will raise in 
future, an enthusiasm that will bring glory to her 
and profit to all. It may perhaps be painful to your 
humility, but it is an honour both lawful and enviable 
indeed, it is even a duty to " reveal and confess 
the works of God." * I feel strongly convinced that 
the work of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity is to be 
included in this category. God caused this noble 
maiden to be born that she might be here on earth, 
as she is in heaven, the living example of one who 
worships " in spirit and in truth," who rises to Him 
Who is above all in silence and recollection of soul. 
Now is the time, then, to repeat more opportunely 
than ever before the words of Christ : " The hour 
cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall 
adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the 
Father also seeketh such to adore Him."f 

Of the Order of St. Benedict. 

* Tob. xii. 7. t St. John iv. 23. 



January 26, 1910. 


With what pleasure have I received and 
devoured immediately the book you sent me ! " An 
exquisite work " the title given it by the Bishop of 
Dijon expresses my opinion on the subject. How 
exquisite a soul you describe, too ! Who could fail 
to admire such profound and true recollection, such 
generosity, unwearied in sacrifice and suffering ; such 
" love until she died of very love " ; and again, the 
marvellous strength of intellect and of will mani- 
fested in her last retreat ? . . . 

But what has struck me most particularly and 
with good reason and what, perhaps, will not always 
be noticed as it deserves, yet what is, it appears to 
me, the characteristic of this life, is the doctrinal 
spirituality which animated it. Elizabeth's piety 
lived on doctrine profoundly viewed as regards our 
Lord and the Blessed Trinity (both in Itself and as 
dwelling in her soul), so that she conformed herself 
wonderfully to the spirituality of St. Paul. It is in 
this respect that these " Reminiscences " will probably 

* Former Director of the Grand Se'minaire de Dijon ; the 
author of " Elevations Dogmatiques sur Jesus intime, Dieu intime, 
1'Ange et 1'Homme intimes, le Chretien intime," . . . who has 
been honoured by a Brief from His Holiness Pius X. 



do most good. As I have remarked in the " Culte 
de St. Joseph," respecting your dear daughter : " All 
other things being equal, a doctrinal piety is the 
truest, because nourished upon the whole truth. It is 
more virile and depends as little as possible upon 
the emotions, being turned to the doctrine which 
affects the higher part of the soul ; it is more constant 
because set in order by truth which changes not ; 
it produces recollection by the more vivid realiza- 
tion of infinite greatness and goodness ; is humbler 
because it has a more complete view of the Divinity ; 
it has more life in it, for it comes into closer contact 
with God Who is both Life and Truth, and it finds 
stronger consolation and feels a keener sacred 
enthusiasm for the beauties of the Catholic faith, 
which ought to delight and elevate us." 

All these points will greatly benefit those who read 
attentively the Life and Reminiscences of this chosen 
soul. And not only will they draw from it edifying 
impressions, but what is of far more value, ideas of 
vital importance to the spiritual life. 

May God thank you in the way He knows best, 
Reverend Mother, for having so greatly helped the 
development of this piety, the opening of this lovely 
living flower. May He bless you also for having 
given its history with such charm and simplicity ! 

Yours most devotedly in our Lord, he who will 
never forget the loved Carmel of Dijon, and who 
strongly recommends himself and his work to your 
fervent prayers, 







May 10, 1910. 

For the last three weeks the " Life of Sister 
Elizabeth of the Trinity " has supplied me with 
spiritual reading. 

An intimate association with several Carmelite 
convents, and the study of your two great teachers, 
St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa, have inspired 
me with an admiration for your holy Order which 
increases as time goes on. I am delighted to find in 
Sister Elizabeth a realization of the Carmelite ideal 
which any child of Carmel may take for her model, 
with the full conviction of finding in her all the 
characteristics of a true daughter of St. Teresa. 

I think there are few lives of the saints which give, 
in so short a space, such a vivid impression of what 
the noblest natural and supernatural qualities can 

* Author of a short but very solid treatise on the interior life, 
" La Vie inteYieure," published by La Petite Bibliotheque 
chreticnne, abbaye Tronchiennes, Belgique. 



produce in a frank, high-minded, upright, generous 
soul which is faithful to the grace it receives. 

Her life of six-and-twenty years was short indeed, 
but how wonderfully filled with all that makes us 
understand, admire, love, desire, and resolve to attain 
to sanctity ! 

What strikes me as the particularly attractive 
character of the life is the fact that, upon analysis, 
the perfection of the soul of this nun is found to 
consist in the outgrowth of grace, in the progres- 
sive, normal, and logical development of the theo- 
logical virtues infused into souls in their Baptism. 

In Sister Elizabeth her intellect, which was of 
a high order, and her will, were both entirely 
dominated by faith and charity. Aided by divine 
grace, Sister Elizabeth drew from her infused super- 
natural resources all that they were capable of afford- 
ing ; she cultivated them by prayer, by meditation, 
and by the study of St. Paul's writings, than which 
she could have found no better guide in the way of 
salvation. Of a far earlier date than St. Augustine's 
teaching, they were the foundation of his doctrine. 
She studied them and confirmed their discipline by 
practice a practice which became more and more 

In the first place " she took it to heart," which 
many souls devoted to the interior life either forget 
entirely or else neglect to do. 

A truly angelic purity seems to have won her 
intuitions of faith animated by love, such as make 
faith equivalent to sight. This was doubtless the 
source of the luminous ideas to be found in her 
letters which are always expressed clearly and exactly, 
sometimes strongly, sometimes gracefully, but always 


ardently, as the outcome of a soul passionately 
devoted to the truth. 

It was the promise of the divine Master fulfilled 
in this world : " Beati mundo corde . . . quoniam 

And in this study of a life of the most intense 
spirituality, where the love of God so swiftly 
consumes all self-love that hardly any struggle 
is felt, nothing of all that constitutes a loving, 
discerning heart which realizes all that is required 
by the Fourth Commandment when interpretated by 
the tender Heart of Jesus, nothing of all this is 
sacrificed : all the rights of affection due to her 
mother and relatives are maintained. 

How exactly this young nun already began to 
realize the type of the " valiant woman " adorned 
with grace and energy, as described in the Book of 
Proverbs ! 

The Life has done me much good, and will 
greatly assist me in my ministry to the daughters 
of St. Teresa and to all souls that are in earnest 
regarding the interior life and Christian perfection. 

I have already warmly recommended it, and shall 
continue to do so. 

Thanking you sincerely, Reverend Mother, 

I remain, 
Yours faithfully in our Lord, 



ALTHOUGH not strictly speaking a letter of approba- 
tion, we publish the following, which gives an 
authoritative explanation of " the very real work that 
is being carried out by our apostle " (Monseigneur 

Monestes) : 


October 5, 1910. 


Thank you very much for the charming 
photograph you sent me of Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity. It is exactly like her, this time, with her 
sweet gentleness, her peaceful recollection, her pure 
expression, her eyes that seem fixed with an inner 
gaze upon the vision of her soul, and her whole 
attitude, which should have forewarned you, had you 
thought of anything except of the happiness of 
having her with you, that heaven would not leave 
her with you long. 

She has passed to peace and light Light and 
peace were her " dowry " from the first from her 
heavenly Bridegroom. They were always hers 
because her faith had nothing vague or abstract 
about it, but was a living faith. Like that of 
St. Paul, whom she loved so well, it was built on 
Christ, on the contemplation of His Mystery and 
His divine action upon souls. She came at His 



call ; it was by the work of His grace that she spent 
the years few, yet so divinely beautiful of her 
religious life. When her soul seemed overcast by 
darkness after the brilliant light that had inundated 
it, her faith was not disturbed. She trusted in Him 
Who had called her. It was for Him to choose her 
path. She would walk in it joyfully, with full 
abandonment of will, sure that He knew where it 
led, and that all she had to do was to follow it. 
Even when her poor body, exhausted, burnt by 
fever, almost destroyed, held her soul in un- 
accustomed helplessness, her little lamp still shed its 
light within her. Was not her holy Master, Christ 
crucified, the God of love? She loved Him still, 
with the divine peace of her early days. 

1 am recalling the past, Reverend Mother, and 
you know all this better than myself. But perhaps 
you do not know so well, though the report of it 
reaches you daily, what I have so often witnessed 
personally in your Carmelite convents, or in our 
Dominican houses, and even sometimes in the world 
I allude to the profound attraction exercised by your 
sister over interior souls ; their divine awakening by 
her ; the conviction that remains afterwards of her 
mysterious presence, and the grace of strength and 
light left by it. How many of her sisters, on seeing 
her so possessed by God, so initiated by her deep 
silence into the mystery of Christ, so united with 
His sacrifice, so lost in adoration of the Blessed 
Trinity, have experienced the arousing which "makes 
all things new " in our sight ! How many, by the 
light of this soul, turned so completely to God and 
to God alone, have found the grace to live thus, and, 
like her, have felt themselves become captives of the 


light, and of Christ the Furnace whence it comes, in 
a deeper way than they had ever known before ! 

I cannot tell what He Whom she loved so 
fervently will do for her later on ; but, if there be a 
gift which reveals sanctity, it is that which gives the 
power of thus taking possession of souls in their 
very centre, of leading them from self and all that is 
human, to bring them, exultant in their liberty, to 
the God crucified by love, and make them one with 
Him. Our " Praise of glory " exercises this gift 
irresistibly over those who read her "Reminiscences." 
The effect remains, and those experiencing it feel con- 
vinced that, henceforth, their relations to Christ will 
be quite altered. They have but one fear, " the fear 
of anguish " of your St. John of the Cross : that 
they may fail to persevere to the end, and may fall, 
by their own fault, into their former slackness and 
obtuseness which is now obvious to them. 

You remember that Sister Elizabeth felt a presenti- 
ment that this work would be given her in heaven ; 
I do not know what more convincing proof there 
could be of her sanctity. 

Adieu, Reverend Mother. I give you my bless- 
ing, and once more humbly thank you for your gift. 



ON November 9, 1906, Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity, a professed nun of our Carmel, aged twenty- 
six, was called by God to the eternal " Vision of 
Peace." The death-notice which it is the custom to 
send to our convents gave them reason to believe 
that the history of this soul must have been one of 
a rare fidelity, and several communities expressed the 
wish of knowing it. We hesitated for some time. 
How could we give further entrance into this secret 
sanctuary, and let others admire the wonders which 
humility and silence had veiled ? 

Her short existence had included but four years 
spent within the cloister in the retirement of the 
novitiate, and all in her had looked so simple and so 
. divine that the details seemed beyond analysis. Yet 
the reception given by our houses to the first account 
of what appeared to all so luminous a career, and 
their earnest request that " no ray of this little star 
should be kept hidden," filled our hearts with joy. 

One letter sums up the feelings spontaneously ex- 
pressed with sisterly cordiality ; it reveals the 
impression produced by the death-notice of Sister 
Elizabeth of the Trinity. Coming to us as it does 
from a Carmel which personifies the great traditions 
of the Order, of which it was the cradle in France, 



the following opinion justifies the esteem felt by her 
community for the humble young nun whom we are 
about to describe : 

" Thank you for having given us in your notice 
so intimate a knowledge of this beautiful soul. It is 
indeed the life of a Carmelite who has fully entered 
into the meaning of her vocation and who went 
straight to God with all the fervour of her love. A 
real impression of grace is felt, and our hearts have 
been edified, touched, and affected to the very depths 
while reading it. 

" All in this life is what it should be. The graces 
your holy daughter promised to pray for after her 
death are thoroughly in accordance with the spirit of 
our vocation : serious, religious, and at the same 
time exalted. Thank God for giving such treasures 
of grace to Carmel ! 

" I think you have not told us all. It is right 
and necessary to study brevity in a death-notice, but 
may I venture to ask you for some further details 
concerning this life of prayer ? . . ." 

The same religious wrote to us later on, referring 
to these details and discussing our hesitation as to 
publishing a longer account : *' Do not be prevented 
on account of the little there would be to say about 
this short life, hidden in God ; that is the case with 
many of these lives which give forth a heavenly 
fragrance, although containing few events. The 
simplicity and silence of Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity will be a valuable example for Carmel and 
for many souls. There is but one opinion about it 
here : you must write an account of it." 

Some devout indiscretion regarding our notice, 
which occurred providentially, spread rumours of her 


saintly life outside the cloister, and such pressing 
entreaties reached us from all quarters that we felt 
bound to submit to " the voice of God," and to 
think seriously of publishing our " Reminiscences " 
(" Souvenirs "). 

Such is the title we chose for these pages, which 
are necessarily incomplete in every respect, and 
which we only consented to edit in order to make 
the sketch as life-like as possible and to preserve the 
fragrance of the religious life proper to this flower of 

Thanks to God, Who doubtless intended that His 
" Praise of glory " should be known, all Sister 
Elizabeth's letters have been carefully kept. They 
echo forth her soul and paint her as she was, without 
the need of being arranged in the order in which she 
wrote them. Our only documents are a few 
reminiscences sent by her friends, added to our own, 
and some notes on spiritual matters which will be 
printed in their proper place. We have added some 
poems by Sister Elizabeth, which further reveal her 

But first let us speak for a moment of this " vessel 
of election." The opinion of a religious f who, as 
we shall see later on, providentially interposed in the 
life of our dear little daughter, will throw great light 
upon this second " Histoire d'une Ame," as our 
" Reminiscences " have been called : 

" There are human beings who die knowing 
nothing of human ways and affairs, but they are like 

* Three fresh photographs are added to this edition, which 
are so characteristic that they might be termed portraits of her 

f The Very Rev. Per Valle'e, Dominican. 


a splendid crystal through which the light passes un- 
broken ; when the divine impression is stamped on 
them the seal remains. 

" Elizabeth was pre-eminently of their number. 
From infancy she was simple, yet instinctively 
profound. Radically candid, frank, and simple, 
she was wholly taken up by the things of God, 
which filled her soul and shone in the purity of her 

" She felt a continual thirst for God, and knew 
how to listen. Her large eyes drank in the light 
which she received fully and deeply, her whole soul 
watching for it, yet immersed in the peace of God, 
and safeguarded against such enthusiasms as are 
often produced by over-excitability of the nerves, and 
which soon work themselves out exteriorly. Her 
gifts developed in the cloister ; what had been but an 
awakening and a presentiment became a reality. 

" Her prayer was for a long time founded upon 
the Passion ; later on it was influenced by her 
devotion to the Blessed Trinity and her longing to 
realize the * Society ' of the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost. Her spirituality was enlightened and 
determined by her study of St. Paul's writings. 

" Silence is a necessity for such a life. Sister 
Elizabeth returned to it by instinct without an effort, 
and was evidently led to it by the action of the Holy 
Spirit. She seemed to be kept in contact with God 
by the intuitions of the gift of knowledge, animated 
by the light she received. She also recognized the 
adorable * wherefore ' of these divine communi- 
cations the strange and infinite passion of love with 
which He pursues souls that He may introduce them 
into His mysterious treasure-house and, as it were, 


fix them immovably in Himself. She felt herself 
strongly drawn into the depths of things, and above 
all, into the depths of her own soul, by a sort of 
overflowing sweetness which penetrated her being : 
this was the gift of wisdom. 

" Then, in her last stage, she was stamped with the 
cross. She knew the joy of it, the joy she willed to 
feel, borne with a wonderful, a superhuman heroism, 
more from * fortitude than from joy.' The Holy 
Ghost visibly bestowed this gift upon her. I found 
her in this state of suffering when I visited her for 
the last time, three weeks before she died. 

" The light of God which dwelt upon her seemed 
to make her transparent. Her mind had never 
wavered, her soul was still further simplified, she 
rested at the feet of her Master in loving contem- 
plation, realizing that a divine work was being 
accomplished in her. There was nothing human in 
such a state. 

"Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity fathomed the 
charity of God ; she was in touch with the Giver of 
all. In this source of love she found the overflowing 
grace which made her, so to speak, die in God by a 
progress that was genuine and continuous." 

What a faithful sketch is this of a life more angelic 
than human, the details of which we would fain give 
with the same skill ! 

Recollection may perhaps be considered as the 
special characteristic of this soul, or, at least, we like 
to dwell upon this trait ; for if prayer, humility, love 
of suffering, and fortitude in trial, lead us to admire 
the divine work in her, these great gifts fructified in 
our little sister because she was "the garden enclosed," 
which the heavenly Spouse alone might cultivate. 


"You will never be heroic," she was told, "until 
the time when you are completely recollected within 
yourself." These words, engraved in her heart, 
increased her passion for silence, and developed the 
spirit of solitude which she so valued as an assured 
means of attaining sanctity, that, before she died she 
often said to us : "I think my mission in heaven 
will be to draw souls to interior recollection by help- 
ing them to go out from themselves ; to adhere to 
God by a simple and loving movement ; to keep 
them in that deep interior silence which allows God 
to impress His likeness on them and to transform 
them into Himself." 

It was not without deep emotion that, in the 
Journal Spirituel of a privileged soul, we recently 
came upon the words, believed to have been spoken 
by the divine Master Himself: " If France would 
rise to life again, the nation must cultivate recollec- 
tion. Many are those whom I call to enter into 
their own heart, yet who listen not to My appeal."* 
We were struck by the providential character of the 
work which had evidently devolved upon our angelic 

In fact, although several of the numerous favours 
attributed to her intercession are of a temporal kind, 
Divine Providence seems to wish to render testimony 
to the mission which the humble little nun, now so 
powerful with heaven, had foreseen would be hers : 
that of leading souls to become recollected, of draw- 
ing them to enter the life-giving mystery of the 
indwelling of the Blessed Trinity within them. 

This accounts for the wonderful circulation of a 

* Journal Spirituel de Lucie Christine, public par Aug. Poulain, 
Beauchcnc, editeur, Paris. 


book which seemed suited but for the few. Several 
French editions have been called for since 1909, and 
the " Praise of glory," Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity, will soon be able to repeat afresh her song of 
love in seven other languages, and by revealing her 
inner life will teach a far larger number of souls how 
to find " heaven in this world." 



Feast of the Patronage of our Lady, 
October 27, 1912. 


According to the decree 01 Urban VIII., 
we declare that if we have made use of any 
terms of veneration in this book, they are 
meant solely in the sense authorized by Holy 
Church, to whose judgment we submit with 
filial affection. 



" It is of the greatest importance for the soul to exercise 
itself much in love, so that attaining rapidly to perfection it 
may not be detained here below, but may soon see God face 
to face." 





Elizabeth's birth, family, and education She overcomes her 
natural defects of character Death of her father Her 
conversion Her musical talent Her first Communion 
The " House of God " Visits to Carcassonne. 

GOD, Who " gives His angels charge over us, to 
keep us in all our ways,"" 1 lovingly prepared the 
ways of Elizabeth when He formed the home to 
which to entrust this predestined soul. 

Her father, Fransois Joseph Catez, belonged to 
one of those families of Northern France in which 
religious and high principles are transmitted as the 
glory of their race. During his military career he 
always won the confidence of his superior officers, 
the love of his fellows, and the affection of all, by his 
uprightness and noble qualities.f 

* Ps. xc. ii. 

t From a speech relating to Captain Catez, delivered over his 

grave by Commandant dc C , printed in the Sfmaine Rfligieuse 

de Dijon. 



Divine Providence bestowed upon him such a 
wife as he deserved. She was a member of the 
Rolland family, a race of Southern origin, whose 
name, renowned in the army, was also characterized 
by devotion to religion, to honour, and to its native 

Marie Rolland possessed the simple yet steadfast 
faith of her mother, a native of Lorraine, and was 
fitted by special refinement of soul for the mission 
reserved for her. She was an enthusiastic admirer of 
St. Teresa, the great Carmelite reformer, and 
delighted in copying out the finest passages of her 
works, little suspecting that these quotations would 
one day bring the soul of her child into communica- 
tion with that of the seraphic Mother, thus " nourish- 
ing " her early childhood " with this heavenly 

Divine Providence watched from the first hour 
over the precious life which these pages are to 

Her parents awaited, with unmixed joy, the little 
one who was to complete their happiness. But joy 
was turned into the deepest anxiety : the mother's 
life was in jeopardy and the child's despaired of. 
Captain Catez, actuated by vivid faith, hastened to 
the chaplain of Avor, and asked him to say Mass 
that the dreaded catastrophe might be averted. The 
priest went to the altar, and the Holy Sacrifice, 
offered before the throne of God, won the desired 
grace. Hope rekindled, and towards the end of the 
last Gospel little Elizabeth began her life on July 1 8, 
1880. The day was Sunday a coincidence which 
she afterwards considered the first call to her special 
* Collect for the Feast of St. Teresa. 


vocation, or what was, at least, the chief characteristic 
of her religious life to be a " praise of glory " to 
the Blessed Trinity. 

Her baptism, on the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen, 
July 22, may also be regarded as chosen by Provi- 
dence, which often conceals a Divine plan beneath 
apparently accidental circumstances. The child, 
regenerated under the auspices of the great penitent, 
early showed a special devotion to the saint, whom, 
innocent as her girlhood was, she resembled in more 
ways than one.* Wounded by the same love, she 
understood the eager search, the silence at the feet of 
the Saviour, the longing to follow Him even to 
Calvary, to the perfect union He grants to privileged 

Yet the first years of her life gave no presage of 
her future. Elizabeth, naturally very lively, was, 
until she was seven years old, subject to bursts of 
temper, contrasting strangely with the extreme gentle- 
ness of her sister Marguerite, two years her junior. 
She seemed to think that all must give way before 
her. Fortunately, her mother was firm as well as 
tender, for her affection rested upon a supernatural 
basis only too rare even in Christian homes. Madame 
Catez felt no diffidence about undertaking her 

* Elizabeth liked to link together the feast of the saint with 
the commemoration of her own baptism. In 1905 she wrote : 
"To-morrow is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen, of whom the 
Truth declared, 'She loved much.' It is a feast of my soul also, 
for I shall keep the anniversary of my baptism ; and since you 
are the priest of love, I beg you to consecrate me to Him at 
Holy Mass. Baptize me in the Blood of the Lamb, so that, being 
a stranger to all love but His, I may love Him alone with a 
passion ever deepening until it attains that blessed union destined 
for us by God in His eternal and unchangeable will." 


daughter's education, especially -as in the undisci- 
plined little character she recognized unusual qualities 
of heart and energy to which she appealed. The 
most severe punishment for the child, and one which 
conquered all her stubbornness, was to forfeit her 
mother's kiss before going to sleep at night. The 
day would come when Elizabeth would bless her 
mother for having taught her self-conquest by love 
a valuable lesson, to become the law of her soul, and 
to lead her by repeated efforts up the steep summit to 

The Catez family moved from Bourges into Bur- 
gundy : first to Auxonne, and then to Dijon, where 
a severe trial awaited Elizabeth. Almost immedi- 
ately after her arrival God called to Himself her 
grandfather on her mother's side. Monsieur Rolland, 
a highly distinguished man, was, above all, a good 
Christian. Skilled in fart d'etre grand-fere^ he knew 
how to place himself on a level with his little grand- 
daughters, and to delight them with tales that both 
fascinated and formed their young minds. Elizabeth 
grieved deeply over his loss. Eight months after, 
her father also was torn almost suddenly from his 
loving family. Yet the twofold sorrow does not 
seem to have had the decisive influence over her life 
which brought about what she styled her " conver- 
sion." God reserved it to Himself. It was due to 
her first confession, which made a deep impression on 
the child, awakening in her the spirit of religion. 
Henceforth she firmly resolved to struggle against 
her besetting fault, which, however, did not damp 
her high spirits and natural gaiety. 

Elizabeth greatly enjoyed the few weeks spent 
during her holidays at the camp of Chalons, with its 


stirring military life and sham fights at the time of 
the manoeuvres. Her soul, full of harmony, de- 
lighted in the musical talent which already rendered 
her attractive. Some children's concerts were organ- 
ized at Dijon to promote competition among the 
young performers ; Elizabeth's brilliant and expres- 
sive style was particularly admired, although, being 
but eight years old, she could hardly reach the 
pedals. She took her audience by surprise by her 
execution of Steibelt's L* Or age. People were aston- 
ished at the precision of her execution ; her little 
fingers seemed scattering pearls. 

Such a brilliant success at so early an age might 
have been dangerous to the little girl, but her 
mother's vigilance, seconding the work of grace, 
knew how to preserve in her all the candour and 
humility which distinguished her through life. 
When, after being warmly congratulated, the child 
asked her mother : " How did I play my piece ?" 
Madame Catez, dreading the slightest feeling of 
vanity, answered : " Pretty well." " I shall take 
more pains next time," answered Elizabeth, and 
never recurred to the praise she had received. Her 
heart, already enamoured of the Divine Ideal, was pre- 
occupied with the one thought of her first meeting 
with Him of Whose love she already felt the 

At the time she was deeply interested in the cate- 
chetical instructions in preparation for her first 
Communion. The struggle with her impulsive 
nature was bearing fruit ; the nearer the great day 
approached, the more numerous were her victories 
over a will which had already mastered itself. How 
longingly she sighed for April 19, 1891! At last 


the day broke on which her soul was to be filled 
with the light of heaven. 

She had opened her heart on the previous evening 
to the devout chaplain of the camp at Avor, who 
had baptized her, and who had come to assist at her 
first Communion. The good priest, deeply affected 
by what he had learnt, wondered what would be the 
destiny of the child over whom he seemed to see 
the hand of God. 

Elizabeth wept silently during the touching cere- 
mony. " When we left the church," relates the 
friend who made her first Communion at the same 
time, " she said, I am not hungry ; Jesus has fed 
me.' ' How often have we ourselves heard her say, 
after being absorbed in prayer : " Oh, how He has 
fed me with Himself!" 

In the evening she met at the Carmelite Convent 
the nun who, as Prioress, would eight years later 
console her during her weary two years' waiting. 
" She made an indelible impression on me," writes 
the Reverend Mother. " I told her that, according 
to the meaning of her name, she was the happy little 
* House of God.' She was greatly struck by the 
idea. I wrote it out for her on the back of a picture, 
little thinking that the mystery of the Divine in- 
dwelling in her soul would become the watchword 
of her spiritual life." * 

This mystery was no longer hidden from her, for 

* The simple little picture, carefully preserved, is inscribed 
with these lines : 

" Ton nom beni cache un mystere 

Qui s'accomplit en ce grand jour. 
Enfant, ton coeur est sur la terre, 

Maison de Dieu (Elizabeth) du Dieu d'amour." 


the Divine Guest had revealed Himself to her that 
very morning. Elizabeth did not tell the hidden 
secret of this first meeting, but others divined that 
it had been profound and decisive. Nothing proved 
it so conclusively as the visible change that took 
place in her from that auspicious day. Henceforth 
the sweet child became perfectly gentle ; no move- 
ment of impatience was ever noticed in her, only at 
times a tear glistening beneath her eyelashes revealed 
her inward struggle. The priest in whom she con- 
fided could not sufficiently admire her energy in 
controlling the fiery temper and strong affections 
that characterized her. 

The enemy of all good, envious of the peace of so 
pure and faithful a soul, strove to disturb her. In 
order to try the child He loved so tenderly, God 
allowed her to pass through a period of scruples and 
distress ; but the patience and kindness of her con- 
fessor, which induced her to confide in him, made 
her realize the goodness of God Himself, and thus 
restored her to perfect peace. 

At thirteen years of age she composed a memorare 
to her holy patroness, of which the childish wording 
contrasts with the depth of sentiment. The feeling 
of exile, the thirst for perfection, for the infinite, 
which made our little angel live less in this world 
than in heaven, are already noticeable. 

" Remember, O Saint Elizabeth, my patroness and 
my heavenly guardian, that I am thy little charge ; 
help me in this desert land, and uphold me in my 
weakness. Give me thy virtues, thy gentle humility, 
thy sublime charity. Ask God to change my faults 
into virtues, as He changed the bread thou heldest 


into roses. Grant me the wings of hope that I may 
mount to heaven, and receive me thyself at the gate 
of Paradise when God calls me to Him. Amen. 


Unfortunately, we can discover in her diary no 
trace of her daily efforts and struggles before attain- 
ing the transformation at which she ceaselessly aimed. 
Her longing to escape notice made her destroy* the 
pages that would have rendered it easy to recon- 
struct her whole life, as a child and as a Carmelite, 
with all the charm that characterizes her letters. 
Gracious and high-minded as she was, as a religious 
said, on leaving her after an interview in the Carmel- 
ite parlour: "She really has charming qualities." 
Indeed she was charming in every way, and all the 
more so because she never seemed to suspect it. 
" If you could see the beauty of a soul in a state of 
grace," said our Lord to Saint Catharine of Siena, 
" you would die of love for it." " Such was the 
first impression made on me," said a priest charged 
with the care of Elizabeth's soul a few years later, 
" when, as its director, this pure soul displayed itself 
before me in all its candour and innocence, as limpid 
as the pure crystal of translucid water. A restrained 
enthusiasm gave ardour to a piety that was simple, 
orderly, and perfectly natural in its supernatural 
character ; there was no exaggeration or craving for 
what was unusual. The self that is so detestable 
never seemed to have been born in her." Let us 
rather say that it was kept in check by a longing 
for suffering very rare at an age when nature 

* With the exception of a manuscript book from which we 
shall make some extracts. 


thirsts for every pleasure. Her heart, given up 
to divine love, found no rest save in pain. Though 
still a child, she craved for immolation ; each leaf of 
her diary echoes with generous aspirations of which 
she never wearies ; and in what words does she 
express them ! * She did more. She gave herself as 
a sacrifice as far as her life admitted of it, and sacri- 
fice, constantly offered, softened her, and formed her 
as an imitation of her Divine Model Whose sweet- 
ness and humility she would soon exemplify, until, 
raised to heroism, she would receive from Him the 
imprints of the cross. 

Before going further we give the reminiscences of 
a venerable Canon of Carcassonne, with whom the 
Catez family often stayed for a short time. The 
worthy priest knew Elizabeth well, as from her 
earliest days she had made him the confidant of her 
secret feelings. 

* We find other traces belonging to this period showing her 
craving for the cross. No doubt our little sister's first attempts 
at poetry are very faulty, yet how touching are the verses she 
wrote on Good Friday, inspired by the sufferings of our Saviour ! 


" Strike me, loved Suffering, strike with crushing blow ! 
Strike, strike, O Pain, that I desire to bear ; 
Thou who didst not e'en the Redeemer spare, 
Be thou my hope whilst dwelling here below ! 

" Strike ! for I cannot live apart from thee ! 
Strike ! that my Jesus may behold in me 
One nailed in anguish on the cross with Him, 
Whose lips drink from the chalice* bitter brim. 

" Strike ! for in sacrifice and trial a joy 
Dilates my heart with bliss without alloy, 
Since I dare hope my anguish may impart 
Some solace to my Saviour's grieving heart !" 


l< What can I say of her who chose me for her 
friend but that she was a saint ? A saint, indeed, 
in the widest acceptation of the word. So firmly 
was I convinced of it that I wrote one day to her 
mother : * I burn all the letters I receive except 
Elizabeth's, which I preserve carefully, and will 
leave to your grandchildren. Who knows whether 
they may not be wanted some day for her beatification 
or canonization ?' 

" God is wonderful in His saints, and His grace, 
skilled in its work, began its labours early in this 
predestined soul. 

" Elizabeth was saintly from her earliest years. I 
affirm that she never flagged. Ask her mother, who 
will tell you that in our conversation and correspond- 
ence we never styled her by any other name than 
* our little saint.' I believe that she died in her 
baptismal innocence. 

" She was the more praiseworthy because she was 
naturally lively, ardent, and passionate. Born in a 
camp, the child and descendant of soldiers felt their 
warm and generous blood course through her veins. 
She might easily have been hot-headed, wilful, and 
hasty. Fortunately, her vivacity was balanced by 
her two-fold affection for God and for her mother. 
For her mother, to whom she was absolutely devoted ; 
and for Him Whom she always named in fervent 
accents ' Him.' She fixed her large, beautiful 
eyes with their heavenly expression that you know 
so well, Reverend Mother on God and on her 
mother, and her constant question was : * What 
must I do?' 

" She was very fond of playing with her little 
friends, and no one knew better than she how to make 


the games amusing. I can see her now on our excur- 
sions among the mountains, woods, and fields, crossing 
the rivers, always at the head of the band. A single 
look or word from her mother would stop her in the 
midst of her most giddy flight. 

u What a contrast to her little sister Marguerite, who 
was just as good and charming ! The one active, 
exuberant ; the other so calm and serious that we 
nick-named her ' Justice.' 

" When Elizabeth left the world her only regret was 
for her mother. 

" I shall never forget her last visit. We were feeling 
sad at the prospect of a parting which we knew 
would be final. Her mother was weeping, but the 
child, forcing back her tears, leant towards me, and 
murmured two words which I alone could hear: 
* Thank you. . . . Mamma!* I never saw her again. 
May her prayers win me the grace to meet her in 
heaven ! 

" Why did she thank me before recommending her 
mother to me? Because she had always thought 
that I favoured her vocation. I do not deny it ; 
indeed, I had the courage to say to her mother : 
1 She belongs to God rather than to you !' 

" One evening the little girls, tired of playing, were 
talking together in their childish way. Elizabeth, 
by an artful little trick, managed to draw near me, 
and even to clamber on my knee. Bending towards 
me, she whispered, * Canon, I am going to be a nun ! 
I will be a nun !" I believe she was only seven years 
old. ... I shall always remember the angelic way in 
which she said it ... as also her mother's rather irri- 
tated manner as she asked : l What is the foolish 
little creature saying ?' 


" Madame Catez well knows the cloister where she 
sought me next day. She asked me anxiously 
whether I believed the vocation to be genuine, and I 
stabbed her to the heart by answering : * I do 1' 

"The holy woman has climbed her Calvary ; she has 
borne her share in her daughter's immolation. Tearful 
but faithful to her post, like the Mother of Jesus, 
she has offered the sacrifice. God will reward her as 
she deserves. Meanwhile she has the glory and 
consolation of having given a great saint to heaven. 

" Others, more fortunate than myself in having 
witnessed it, can describe how Elizabeth prepared for 
the great day of her first Communion. I can only say 
that from that time I never saw her pray, or heard 
her confession, or gave her Holy Communion, 
without saying to myself, c The child is an angel !' ' 


To face ftiKt tl 



She resolves to give herself wholly to God Her vow of virginity 
Her home Her vocation is tested Her sister pleads for 
her Elizabeth's diary. 

"I SHALL be a nun ! I will be a nun !" the child of 
seven had said. She could not understand how 
people could give themselves to God by halves. 
Her conversion started her on the way of perfection. 

" I was naturally very gay and fond of pleasure," 
she said, when recalling her childhood. " Yet even at 
that age I was afraid of worldly amusements lest they 
should win my heart. However, my resolution of 
giving myself wholly to God preserved me from 
being drawn away by enjoyment. . . . When I was 
invited to children's parties, before starting I used to 
shut myself in my room and pray for some little 
time, for, knowing the eagerness of my nature, I 
watched myself carefully." 

Her determination to belong wholly to God had at 
first but a vague tendency towards perfection. 

" I cannot remember when Elizabeth first confided 
to me her desire of consecrating herself to our Lord," 
states an intimate friend ; " but while still very young 
her favourite amusement was playing at being a nun : 



that was her one idea, and I never knew her swerve 
from it. She told me one evening that she wanted 
to join the Trappists, for the Carmelites did not seem 
austere enough. . . ." 

She made her choice later on. " She was hardly 

fourteen," says Madame , " when I found her 

one day looking sad and thoughtful, her lovely eyes 
fixed on heaven, as if in prayer. I went to her and 
asked why she looked so mournful, while she had 
everything in life to make her happy. * Madame, 
I am thinking how joyful I shall be when I enter 
Carmel ; and the time seems to me to pass very 
slowly, for I should like to be already given to God's 
service.' I laughed at her premature decision, ex- 
plaining to her that she could love and serve God in 
the world while showing care and affection for her 
devoted mother. She waited until I had finished and 
answered : ' God wants me for Himself. Mamma 
will understand my wish. She will be glad at my 
leaving her, since it will make me happy. Besides, 
I shall love her just as well.' ' 

Elizabeth tells why she decided upon entering 
Carmel. She writes : 

" I had a great love for prayer, and such love for 
the good God that, even before my first Communion, 
I could not understand giving one's heart to another ; 
henceforth I resolved to keep my love and life for 
Him alone. 

"When I was fourteen, one day, during my 
thanksgiving after Holy Communion, I felt irresist- 
ibly urged to choose Him for my Bridegroom, and I 
bound myself to Him by a vow of virginity. We 
did not speak to one another," she said, " but gave 
ourselves to each other with such fervent love that 


my resolution of being wholly His was stronger than 
ever. Once after Holy Communion I heard the 
word Carmel pronounced within my soul, and hence- 
forth my one desire was to be hidden behind its 

Six years passed before her wish was fulfilled. 
Long and weary years of waiting for her, but passing 
rapidly and fraught with blessing for her mother and 
her sister Marguerite. What reverence she showed 
her mother ! After hearing a sermon on the educa- 
tion of children, she wrote : " I thanked God from 
the bottom of my heart for having given me such 
a mother, gentle but strict, who has known how to 
overcome my most evil character." 

She played her part of elder sister charmingly. 
" She taught as much by her good example as by 
her sterling advice and good judgment," declares 
Marguerite. She continues : " One day, when Eliza- 
beth was twelve or thirteen years old, she said to me 
on leaving some service at our parish church : * I 
heard the good God tell me not to use two chairs in 
church ; it is not right to be so comfortable.' I 
laughed, and told her that it did not matter to the 
good God whether she had one or two chairs. 
Later on I understood how my angelic sister lived in 
dependence on divine grace, and the secret of her 
rapid progress in perfection stood revealed. Even 
before that age her conduct proved that her heart was 
already filled with divine love. One day, when quite 
a little child, she exclaimed on passing a theatre : 
' Oh, how I should like to be an actress !' * What, 
Elizabeth ! You wish to be an actress ?* someone 
exclaimed in surprise. * Yes,' she said ; ' because 
then there would be at least one person there who 


loved God !' Her one aim in life was to love God 
and to make Him loved. She watched over me lest 
my soul should offer some obstacle to His action 
within it, and tried to correct me of shyness, as being 
a want of simplicity caused by self-love." 

Self-denial had become so habitual to her as 
apparently to require no constraint ; indeed, she 
snowed a pleasure never evinced save by the thought 
that she could make a fresh sacrifice, a fresh act of 
love, or give some joy to others. 

Her friends bear the same testimony to her good- 
ness. " I never heard her speak ill of anyone," 
writes one of them ; " nor did she give praise that 
was undeserved. She knew how to discover good in 
everybody, without denying any weak points. Her 
tact equalled her charity, and her indulgence never 
prevented her from showing firmness when occasion 

Elizabeth wished to die young.* She cared for 
nothing in this world, yet dreaded the particular 
judgment, and never went to sleep at night without 
preparing herself for death as if she were to die before 
morning. Her fear was soon to be succeeded by 
the most glowing love. 

"A tender devotion for St. Catharine of Siena," 
we are told by another correspondent, " led her to 
imitate the Dominican's continual retirement within 
the little cell of her heart, where she delighted in 
keeping beside her Divine Master, offering Him the 
flowers of her sacrifices. I often witnessed her 
efforts to hide some pain, or to repress impatience or 
a sharp word," continues the same narrator. 

* When she was fourteen she asked one of her little friends 
to accompany her to the sanctuary of Notre Dame d'Etang in 
Burgundy to obtain this favour. 


A note by Elizabeth reveals the secret of her 
victories. " When a remark that seems unjust is 
made to me, nature so rebels against it that the blood 
seems to boil in my veins. . . . To-day I have had 
the joy of offering my Jesus several sacrifices 
connected with my besetting fault. How dear they 
cost me ! It proves how weak I am, yet Jesus was 
with me ; I heard His voice in the depths of my 
heart, and I was ready to bear anything for love of 

Jesus indeed lived and reigned in her virgin heart ; 
His presence was evident to those around her. 
" Something I cannot describe seemed to emanate 
from her," declares another friend ; " it was so pure, 
so ardent yet so gentle ; sweet and simple as the 
perfume of virtue itself." 

These few accounts suffice to sketch the character 
of the child, who was really wholly possessed by 
God, as was evident from her candid, serious expres- 
sion, her modest, recollected mien. The soul of the 
" little saint " was revealed in all her being and 
actions, even to the very music she performed, into 
which she put a feeling that was more and more 
remarkable. " No one can interpret the great 
masters as she does," people said; "she has the 
soul for it." And they felt that her soul was alien 
to this world. 

Whence did she obtain this genius for inter- 
pretation ? She reveals her secret in a letter she 
writes about a child who was afraid to play at 
a musical performance : " I shall pray that God may 
penetrate Madeleine, even to the tips of her tiny 
fingers ; then I defy anyone to rival her. Do not 
let her teel nervous ; 1 will tell her my secret ; to 


forget those who are listening, and to imagine 
herself alone with the Divine Master ; then the 
instrument will give forth full and strong, yet sweet 
notes. Oh, how I used to love speaking thus to 
Him !" 

Such a soul was indeed not made for this world, 
and no wonder she used to exclaim, when speaking 
of this epoch of her life : " The world frightened 
me !" We have seen how, while very young, when 
she was going to a children's party, she " watched 
carefully over her heart." We know how vigilantly, 
and with what jealous care and delicacy, the faithful, 
fervent girl kept guard over herself until she entered 

" The struggle was over by the time 1 was 
eighteen," she said. " When 1 went into society the 
thought of the presence of the Divine Master and of 
Holy Communion next day so absorbed my thoughts 
that I was oblivious of all around me." 

Madame X relates that once, in the midst 

of the gayest of parties, she was so struck by the 
girl's expression that she could not resist saying to 
her: "Elizabeth, your mind is centred on God." 
The young girl only smiled in reply. Madame 
Catez, whose attention had been attracted by her 
daughter's face in the midst of the gaiety round her, 
realized that her child's heart was elsewhere. Besides, 
Elizabeth's longings were not hidden from her. 
How could she forget the lines she had read in her 
diary : " O Carmel ! When will your doors open to 
me ?" Henceforth the mother's conviction of the 
sacrifice demanded of her never left her mind. 

In 1897 the Abb6 S changed his residence, 

and before leaving spoke to her seriously of 


Elizabeth's vocation, pleading her cause, and striving 
to avert the delay likely to occur. Although 
Madame Catez submitted to the will of God, she 
wished first to test the vocation, and to let it 

One of the most severe trials the poor girl had to 
undergo was her privation of the intercourse with 
Carmel which would have consoled and strengthened 
her while she waited. She accepted it in her usual 
spirit of obedience, and calmly aquiesced in all the 
wishes of her mother, in whom she felt absolute 

She went next summer with her mother and 
sister into Lorraine, where for three weeks there was 
a succession of continual gaiety. Elizabeth's dress, 
faultless in its elegant simplicity and absence of all 
that was studied or pretentious, gave evidence of 
her perfect taste. Her sweet and gracious manners 
led no one to suspect that she was about to enter the 

On leaving Lorraine she went to the camp of 
Chalons, where she excited the same admiration in 
military circles ; but though many hopes were raised 
by her charms, she never forsook her higher ideal. 

Her mother silently esteemed her exceptional 
goodness, yet still nourished faint hopes. How- 
ever, she decided on leaving the decision as regards 
the future to the judgment of a priest in whom she 
felt full confidence.* 

f The Chanoine G was Elizabeth's director until she 

entered Carmel. He soon recognized her divine vocation, and 
when, at the moment of separation, the poor mother begged for 
another year's delay, he persuaded her to complete the sacrifice 
at once. 


Madame Catez learnt one day, while discussing her 
doubts with her second daughter, that Elizabeth was 
more desirous than ever to become a nun, and was 
at that very time making a novena to our Lady to 
obtain the longed-for permission. Marguerite 
generously pleaded the cause which was a sore trial 
to her heart, to her mother, who, overcome by her 
persuasion, sent for her elder daughter. The 
touching scene that followed is described by 
Elizabeth : 

"Sunday, May 26, 1899. O Mary, thou hast 
heard my prayers ; continue to protect me ! 

"Marguerite has again touched upon the subject 
of my vocation. Mamma answered that I was to 
think no more about it, and that she would not be 
the first to mention it. However, after lunch my 
poor mother questioned me. When she saw that 
I had not changed my mind she cried bitterly and 
told me that she would not prevent my quitting her 
when I was twenty-one ; that I had only two years 
to wait, and that I could not conscientiously leave 
my sister before then. 

" How 1 admire her resignation ! Mary must 
have gained this grace for me, for my mother has 
never spoken so before. When I saw them both 
crying, I, too, shed tears. O my Jesus ! were it 
not Thou who callest and dost succour me, did I 
not' see Thee above those I love so well holding 
out Thine arms to me, my heart must break. There 
is nothing I would not do to spare them a single 
tear . . . yet it is I who cause them such bitter 
sorrow ! O my Master ! I feel that Thou dost call 
me and give me strength and courage, for in the 
midst of all my pain 1 feel an infinite peace. Yes, 


I will answer Thy summons soon ; during these two 
years I will strive more keenly to become a bride 
less unworthy of Thee, O my Beloved ! 

"I seem to be dreaming! It is too much to 
believe that Thou keepest such happiness in store 
for such a wicked, miserable creature ! Mayest Thou 
be for ever blessed for it ! And now, O Thou Who 
canst compensate my heart for all the rest, burn and 
uproot all that displeases Thee in me ! I thank thee, 
Mary . . . continue the work thou hast begun ; 
uphold my mother in her noble courage ; reward 
my dearest little sister, whose only thought is for 
my happiness. Give them strength and fortitude ; 
make them understand that, in spite of all my love 
for them, I am ready to leave them for my Jesus. 
Let them recognize that it is He Who calls me, that 
it is for Him I sacrifice them. . . . O my Beloved ! 
uphold them and her who is dying with love for 
Thee and who can find no fitting words to thank 
Thee !" 

Her prayer was heard, and the two generous souls 
made rapid progress in the ways of God. Meanwhile 
Elizabeth's only thought was how best to profit by 
the delay her ardent longings found so wearisome. 
"Since Jesus does not want me yet," she wrote, 
" may His will be done ! Let me sanctify myself in 
the world, and let it not keep me from Him ; nor 
may any earthly vanities amuse or hinder me. I am 
the bride of Jesus ! We are closely bound to one 
another ; nothing can sunder us. May I be ever 
worthy of my heavenly Bridegroom and not squander 
His graces, but enjoy the happiness of proving to 
Him how I love Him !" 

Her journal reveals her constant faithfulness, and 


shows how seriously she applied herself to the work 
of her sanctification. 

In this account-book of her conscience her efforts 
are consigned as deposits and her deficits humbly 
noted. Things are set down just as they come, 
with simplicity and with deepest love. She longs to 
please Him Who has won her affections and chosen 
her for Himself, and to console the Divine Heart 
for the outrages over which she mourns with Him. 
Knowing that the Christian virtues alone can prove 
that love is genuine, she strives zealously and per- 
severingly to acquire the perfection of which she is 
to make definite profession at Carmel. 

Elizabeth destroyed these private papers on the 
eve of her entering the cloister, thinking that they 
would be of no interest to any one. Besides, she 
wished to disappear completely, buried behind the 
grating, leaving the mother and sister she loved so 
tenderly nothing but the assurance of an affection 
that was to endure throughout eternity. 

One manuscript book alone escaped the flames. 
She had not noticed it, as it principally contained 
notes upon her reading and instructions ; it con- 
tinues, in another form, the history of her private life : 

" I am reading St. Teresa's f Way of Perfection,' 
and am delighted with the book, which is doing me 
great good. The Saint speaks so well about interior 
mortification the mortification which, by the help 
of God, I mean to master. I cannot, for the present, 
inflict great sufferings upon myself, but I can sacrifice 
my will each minute." 

Again : " My director spoke to me to-day about 
interior mortification. God led him to do so when 
I needed it. ... I have been working so hard at 


it since my retreat. I am to understand that the 
bodily suffering for which I long is but a means, 
excellent in itself, for attaining interior mortification 
and complete detachment from self. Jesus, my Loye, 
my Life, help me ! It is absolutely necessary for 
me to attain to the crossing of my will in all things. 

my good Master ! I immolate this will to Thee ; 
make it one with Thine. I promise Thee I will 
make every effort to be faithful to my resolution of 
renouncing self in all things. I do not always find 
it easy, but with Thee, O my Strength and my Life, 
is not victory certain ?* 

a l cannot express what good this book of St. Teresa's 
does me. How well she speaks to her daughters of 
Carmel concerning friendship 1 What true and perfect 
friendship it is when a person in the world, or a nun, 
strives for the spiritual progress of her neighbour ! 
Such a friendship is a thousand times more precious 
than the worldly one shown by affectionate speeches, 
which are a great deal too common, the Saint declares. 

" O my Jesus ! I see that I have loved creatures 
too well ; I have given myself up to them too much 
and wished inordinately for their affection ; or rather, 

1 have not understood what Christian love is. But 
now I realize that I owe it to Thee alone, and, above 
all, I desire the love of none but Thee, Thou Beloved 
of my heart ! 

* Elizabeth regularly attended the retreats given by the Jesuit 
Fathers. She prepared herself most fervently, and eagerly 
assimilated the lucid teaching of the Exercises, which enlightened 
and strengthened her in her struggle for perfection. Her resolu- 
tions that year were inspired by the agenda contra, which roused 
her generous soul to enthusiasm. She took St. Ignatius' terse 
maxim for her motto : " Renounce and oppose self-will in all things" 
a plan of courageous abnegation by which her heart continued 
to rise to higher degrees. 



" I went to confession yesterday and told my 
confessor of my resolutions and the graces which 
God has showered upon me during these last few 
days. He advised me to accuse myself in each 
confession of my failures in keeping my resolutions, 
which, he declared, would help me to make progress; 
and I desire to make great progress, O my Jesus, 
that Thou mayest love me more ! For I am envious 
of Thy love, and I love Thee so dearly that some- 
times I think I am dying of it." 

The following lines testify to Elizabeth's strong 
filial affection. In her zeal for perfection she had 
made a plan of which her mother disapproved, upon 
which she at once yielded without demur. "Mamma 
does not like it," she said, " so I shall say no more 
about it." 

In another place she writes : " I should have liked 
to go to Holy Communion again to-day, which 
would have been four days running, but it was too 
much happiness. ... As I saw that it annoyed 
mamma, I made the great sacrifice and offered it to 

" I thought of mamma when the preacher said : 
'Poor mothers, from whom God asks your sons or 
daughters, come and draw strength and courage 
from Him.' " She said after a sermon : " I beg 
Thee, my Jesus, to support her ; it is painful to see 
her sorrow." 

In 1899 Madame Catez had a dangerous illness. 
In her anxiety Elizabeth rose during the night to 
listen whether her mother still breathed, wishing to 
know the truth, however painful it might be. Prayer 
was her chief resource, and God granted her petition. 
" At last mamma is well again," she cried delightedly. 


" What a trial didst Thou send me, O good Master, 
and yet I thank Thee for it, for it was Thy means 
of detaching me from earthly things and attaching 
me entirely to Thee to Thee alone for Whom I long 
to suffer and to die !" 

Elizabeth's affection for her mother was to undergo 
a trial of another kind, of which her diary gives the 
history : " O Jesus, keep my heart, for it is Thine ! 
I gave it Thee, and it is mine no longer. Mamma 
came home very late this morning in a state of great 
excitement. She had been spoken to about a 
marriage for me a splendid match, such a chance as 
I should never have again. She went to consult my 
confessor about it, and he advised her to tell me 
about the proposal and its advantages, saying that it 
would test me and that I ought to consider the 
matter ; that he would give no opinion about it, 
but that no interview ought to be arranged without 
my consent. My heart is no longer free I have 
given it to the King of kings, and it is mine to 
dispose of no more. I hear in my heart the voice of 
my Beloved : 'My bride, you refuse all earthly 
honour to follow Me ; like Me, you shall meet with 
sorrow and the cross ; you will have much to suffer, 
and you could not bear it were I not beside you to 
support you. Even the spiritual consolations so dear 
to the soul will be withdrawn from you. What 
trials those have to bear who follow Me ! Yet what 
sweetness and joy I will make you taste in your 
tribulations ! The part I have chosen for you is by 
far the better one, nor should I have kept it for you 
had I not loved you dearly. Do you feel that you 
love your Jesus well enough to accept these suffer- 
ings for Him ? Will you console Me ? I am so 


abandoned, daughter ; do not forsake Me ! I covet 
your heart, I love it, and have chosen it for My own ! 
I long for the day when you will be wholly Mine ! 
Guard well your heart for Me !' 

" Yes, my Love, my Life, Bridegroom whom I 
adore ! Yes, I am ready to follow Thee upon the 
path of sacrifice. Thou foretellest the troubles I shall 
meet with, Jesus. We will walk together ! 1 shall 
be strong if I follow in Thy footsteps. I thank Thee 
for having chosen a poor little creature like myself 
to console Thee ; Thou didst know that I would 
not forsake Thee, for I should be more guilty than 
the wretched men who crucified Thee twenty centuries 
ago. O supreme Love ! I am wholly Thine ; but 
uphold me, for without Thee I am capable of any crime 
or baseness. My mother is wonderfully good ; it is a 
miracle worked by Mary, for she does not even try 
to shake my resolution. When she asked me to 
reflect, I told her that my answer would be the same 
a week later as to-day but that if she wished it, I 
would consent to her deferring the answer. She 
understands me at last ! ' It would have been a 
comfort to me/ she replied ; * but God wills that it 
should be otherwise. May His will be done !' ' 

< - 


To face page -8 



Apostolic zeal Correspondence with grace Sorrow for sin 
A general confession Fervent gratitude The end of the 

IN 1899 Elizabeth was deeply interested in an 
important mission that was to be held. She writes : 

" We are to have a grand mission during Lent, 
and I am already praying for its success. How 1 
long to bring souls back to my Jesus ! I would give 
my life to help to ransom one of those He so dearly 
loves ! I long to make Him known and loved 
throughout the whole world ! I am so delighted to 
belong to Him, and I wish that all men would place 
themselves under His easy yoke, and bear His light 

burden. How 1 long to bring back Monsieur N 

to Jesus ! He is an excellent man, as charitable as it 
is possible to be, but he is estranged from God. 
I have offered several Communions for this intention, 
and 1 depend upon the mission's carrying out this 
splendid work. ... It would be too great a boon 
for me to have some small part in it. What would 
I not do to help it ! . . ." 

" Saturday, March 4. I have just returned from 
the cathedral. The opening ceremony was most 



impressive. The Bishop spoke from the pulpit of 
the mission, which was intended to awaken souls from 
their torpor. After the sermon there was a grand 
procession in which all the dignitaries took part. 
The pure, sweet voices of the choir rose to the 
vaulted roof of the ancient basilica, and the chant 
was fine and affecting." 

Elizabeth was engrossed by her longing for the 
salvation of souls, for which her heart, inflamed with 
Divine love, offered fervent prayers. 

" Sunday, March 5. I offer Thee, O my God, the 
sacrifice of my life for the success of this mission ; let 
me suffer, only hear my prayer ! Look upon my 
tears and sighs, and have mercy, Almighty God, in 
the Name of Jesus, my beloved Spouse ! 

" Art Thou not, O Father, moved to pity ? 
What more dost Thou require ? I must win souls, 

my God, let them cost me what they may ! My 
whole life shall be their expiation, and I stand ready 
for any suffering if Thou wilt but have mercy on the 
world, in the Name of Jesus my Divine Bridegroom, 
Whom I long to console ! 

" Monsieur N came to the mission, and I 

thanked God fervently." 

"Sunday, March 12. There was a very fine 
sermon at Vespers. I think I liked it best of all. 
When I heard of the fervent zeal we ought to have, 
my eyes filled with tears. O good Jesus! though 

1 have so long been careless about the salvation of 
others, and have myself offended Thee, now, at 
least, I long to bring back souls to Thee ; my heart 
burns for this work of redemption. I crave to 
console Thee, my Divine Spouse, to make Thee 
forget the pain that sinners cause Thee ! Christ 


wrought His work of Redemption by suffering, and 
He calls us to follow Him on the path of sacrifice, 
the certain means of saving souls. 

" O Jesus ! behold I implore Thee to send me 
suffering ! There is nothing that I would not welcome, 
only give me souls ! Give me the special soul for 
which I pray. I hoped that all I wished for would 
be realized when I saw that sinful man at the mission, 
and now he comes no more ! . . ." 

" Tuesday , March 14. We had a splendid sermon 
on eternity. The Redemptorists speak of God with 
such wonderful love. How I love them for preach- 
ing such a Gospel ! Ah ! they have been able to 
follow their vocation, and they are happy, for they 
bring back many souls to God. Let them rejoice in 
such blessedness ! When, O Jesus ! shall I follow 
my call, and give myself to Thee ? I thirst for 
sacrifices and bless all 1 meet with in my daily life. 
My ardour has redoubled during this mission, and 
my heart burns to convert souls ; the desire pursues 
me even in my sleep, and leaves me no moment 
of repose. My God, look Thou upon the vehement 
longing of my heart, and send me sufferings, which 
alone can make my life endurable ! O heavenly 
Father, let me suffer or die 1" 

"Sunday, March 19. To-day my two novenasto 
St. Joseph and our Lady of Perpetual Succour end. 
I am very grieved, although I still feel confident. I 
expect a miracle yes, 1 really do expect one ! When 
Jesus entered my heart this morning I told Him 
that with His help I would try every means in my 
power to win back this soul. I cannot sleep at night 
on this account. O heavenly Father, wilt Thou not 
let my appeal move Thy pity ? 1 am ready to do any- 


thing to convert Monsieur N . Give him to me, 

and Jet me endure all the torments he has deserved. 
I will bear them for my Jesus, with my Jesus ! Let 
not this poor sinner lose this time of special mercy ; 
let him profit by this mission to return to Thee. 
My heart is breaking, O my God ! Hear Thou my 
prayer! Whenever I feel any pain I rejoice, and say 
to myself: * Mary has heard my prayer! Yes, she 
must do so ; 1 expect a miracle !' ' 

"Maundy Thursday^ March 30. Pardon, pardon 
for sinners, for I have wept and prayed so much, O Jesus, 
that I hope to give Thee this sinner ! I redouble my 
prayers to our Lady, and I feel more confident. How 
glad I should be if he returned to Thee ! I cried for 
joy this morning when I saw all the men approach 
the altar to receive Thee, as I thought of how it 
must delight Thee. Yet it seemed to me that Thou 
didst speak to me in the depths of my heart of the 
absent ! Forget them, O my Saviour ! Remember 
them only to forgive them. Suffer Thyself to be 
consoled by those who love Thee. My grief is un- 
bearable when I think that Thy heart is wounded." 

On Holy Saturday Elizabeth gave full vent to 
her sorrow : " Poor Jesus ! What a thorn to pierce 
Thy heart ! She whom Thou lovest suffers with 
Thee, for there is no sacrifice I have refused for 
this conversion is there, Jesus ? 

" I am so overcome that I can hardly write. After 

having smoothed the way with Monsieur N , 

mamma asked Monsieur le Cure to send a missionary 

to call on him. The Pere L did so to-day. I 

felt very hopeful ; but alas ! he was met by a flat 
refusal, which extinguishes all hope for the future, 
and the priest fears that this sinner will never be 

MISSION OF 1899 33 

converted. Grief for the sake of my Jesus has made 
me ill ; I tremble for the poor man, though I do 
not blame him. After the first moment of irritation 
against him, I felt nothing but pity. O my God ! 
should I not have done the same, and even 
worse, hadst Thou not overwhelmed me with Thy 
graces ? 

" I unite my grief to Thine, dear Master ! We 
tried all means : mamma by good words, and, O my 
Jesus ! I thought I had prayed so much ! I was not 
fervent enough ! Well, I will suffer and pray until I 
am heard at last !" 

Elizabeth strove to make the word of God fructify 
in her own soul also. After a sermon on humility 
she concludes : " I must humble myself in every 
way humble myself about my faults, and, instead 
of being angry with myself, I must recognize my 
weakness and nothingness. O Mary, to whom 
I pray daily for humility, come to my aid ; crush 
my pride, and send me many humiliations, dear 
Mother ! 

" The missionary's teaching upon charity has done 
me great good, for I am not always ready to make 
excuses for others. I have made firm resolutions 
about it, and do Thou, Jesus, help me, and remove all 
unkindness from my heart. . . . How hard it is to 
bear with people's characters ! One of the saints called 
it * the flower of charity.' Henceforth, my Jesus, no 
word against my neighbour shall pass my lips : 1 will 
always make excuses for him, and if I am unjustly 
accused, I will think of Thee, and I shall be able to 
bear all without complaint." 

Elizabeth ends her notes on the sermon on sin with 
these words : " After a very stirring sermon on sin, 



the preacher pronounced an act of contrition aloud, 
which made me cry bitterly. 

u O Jesus, grant me pardon ! Forgive my offences, 
my fits of passion in the past, the bad example I 
give, my pride, and all the faults that I commit so 
often. I know that there exists no more wretched 
creature than myself, for Thou hast bestowed so 
much on me. Nor dost Thou ever weary of 
bestowing more. Forgive me, O my Master ! 
How dare I, guilty as I am, ask Thee for grace 
for others ? Why hast Thou not turned from me 
after my many offences, O Lord Jesus ? My Bride- 
groom, my Life, pardon me ! . . ." 

Two days later she was " deeply moved and dis- 
turbed " by an instruction on confession. " For 
some time I have been thinking about contrition. I 
feel that 1 would rather die than offend Thee 
wilfully, even by venial sin. But in the past, when 
I was ten, eleven, twelve, or thirteen years old, had 
I the same regret? Did I even think of it ? I 
tremble as I remember the time. I have decided to 
make a general confession. Yet I am frightened at 
it. How can I remember the number and the 
different kinds of sins? But God will help me. . . . 
Yes, He will show me my sins in all their malice and 
their horror. . . . 

" Dear Master, if I am to fall again as deeply, 
rather let me die ! How canst Thou bear the sight 
of me after such offences ? Why hast Thou been 
beforehand with me by granting me so many 
graces ? I thank Thee. . . . Forgive me ! How 
I grieve on remembering what pain I have given 
Thee, Whom I love so dearly, and whom Thou hast 
chosen for Thy bride ! Forgive, Jesus, forgive me, 

MISSION OF 1899 35 

unworthy as I am ! No one else would have shown 
such ingratitude hadst Thou bestowed on her such 
gifts. I love Thee and weep for the sins that have 
wounded Thee so deeply. Pity me, forgetting all but 
Thine own great mercy !" 

" Wednesday Morning, March 15. I have been to 
confession. I met with an exceptionallygood confessor, 
for which I thank the good God. The Father found 
that I had the signs of a genuine vocation ; he also 
believes that Jesus calls me to Carmel, and says that 
this is the most beautiful of vocations. I made a 
general confession, reckoning from my first Com- 
munion. He assured me that I had not lost my 
baptismal innocence." Elizabeth makes no comment 
upon this assurance which we know was a great joy 
to her, but her thanksgivings are many. She never 
tires of praising Him Who has done great things in 
her and Who keeps fresh favours in reserve. 

After a sermon on death and judgment she writes : 
" It is very extraordinary that I did not feel at all 
frightened. Why should I tremble at appearing 
before Thee, Jesus ? Couldst Thou condemn her 
who, in spite of her countless faults, has lived but 
for Thee? She is, indeed, a most wretched creature, 
and has deserved to go to hell a thousand times, but, 
Jesus, Thou canst not deny that she is Thy bride. 
Then let her follow Thee ; let her sing the virgins' 
song, and be inebriated with the delights of Thy 
presence ! O Death ! did I not hope to suffer and 
to do some little good in this world, how eagerly 
should I cry to thee to come ! If I am ever to 
commit a mortal offence against the Bridegroom 
Whom I love above all things, mow me down before 
such misery is wrought 1 Let me suffer and endure 


all things, my Jesus, but never let me cause such 
pain to Thee ! Keep me ! my heart is Thine own ! 
Watch over it, protect it, consume it with the fire of 
Thy love I" 

She was moved to heartfelt gratitude by the dis- 
course upon the world. " I thank Thee, my God," 
she exclaims, "for having shown me the vanity of 
this world from my earliest days : I thank Thee for 
having drawn me to Thee ! 

" How deep is my gratitude to Thee when I hear 
the world and its pleasures condemned ! Never 
shall I be able to thank Thee sufficiently for the 
better part that Thou hast chosen for me. The 
preacher said this morning that when on the point of 
Thy return to heaven, Thou didst recommend Thine 
Apostles to God, Thou saidst in praise of them : 
' Father, they are not of the world ; they live in the 
world, but they are not of the world.' And I also, 
good Master, am in the world, but I see nought but 
Thee ; I desire nought but Thee and Thy Cross. 
This world cannot satisfy me ; I pine and suffer, for 
I seek for Thee. Oh, make me wholly Thine ! 
Thou art powerful to do all things. I beg Thee, 
Jesus, for a miracle !" 

A few days later she writes : " We had a beautiful 
sermon this evening on divine love. I wept when 
I heard of the love God bears for my soul. I wish 
I could write out the whole sermon, for it was the 
finest of all. O Jesus ! I cannot bear to hear that 
Thy Heart bleeds with grief at seeing how men 
withdraw from Thee. It tortures me. Dost Thou 
suffer Thou Whom I love so well ? Yes, and in 
Thy bounty Thou dost deign to ask me, wretched 
worm that I am, to console Thee ! Is it possible ? My 

MISSION OF 1899 37 

Jesus, it is too good, too consoling to my heart to 
be true !" 

Elizabeth, thus enslaved by Divine love, was more 
watchful than ever respecting the smallest details 
relating to perfection. She sought the light of which 
she believed she stood in need, and longed for the 
strengthening manna of holy doctrine. After 
hearing further instructions on the Christian life, she 

writes : " I intend asking the advice of Pere L 

on this subject. ... I have several other things to 
say to him, and long to see him. . . . 

" What a pity ! the mission is nearly over. How 
quickly it has passed ! t feel sad, but Jesus bids 
me be full of joy at the thought of soon being all 
His own. I look at the world and all to do with it 
as a passing show, and do not let my heart go out to 
it. Every morning, when I forecast the coming day, 
I promise certain sacrifices to my divine Bridegroom. 
When there is one that costs me dear, and I hesitate, 
Jesus insists so strongly that it is impossible to 
refuse it. 

" O my God, Thou hast overwhelmed me with 
benefits during this past month, especially during the 
last few days ! * How happy I am ! 1 cannot com- 
prehend this prodigy of Thy love ! When I recall 
all my weakness, my tepidity, Thy bounty over- 
whelms me ! Soon I shall be all Thine own, employed 
and living for Thee, conversing with no one else. I 
know and feel that Thou dost long for the day when 
Thy loved one will at last be wholly Thine ; she, 
too, awaits it impatiently. I shall have a great 
sacrifice to make by leaving those I love so tenderly, 

* An allusion to the consent to follow her vocation given at 
the end of Lent. 


yet there is infinite sweetness in such sacrifice, since 

it is made for Thee for Thee Whom I love above 

all things, Who hast wounded my heart and made 

it captive by Thy charms, Thou, my Bridegroom, 

my Mother, my Sister, and my supreme Love, Who 

canst supply the place of all else in my heart. What 

a mystery of love ! Thou art willing to raise me to 

Thyself, bestowing on me the highest of all vocations! 

Let there be an end to all tears and sorrow ! O 

my soul, be thou intoxicated with thy joy ! I count 

the days that separate me from the blissful hour 

when, by my three vows, I shall be irrevocably Thine. 

I shall be Thy bride ; a poor, lowly Carmelite, 

crucified like Thee. Sustain me, O my King, in the 

way of the cross which I have chosen as my part, for 

without Thee I can do nothing ! I shall not be 

always thus upheld by grace, but shall meet with 

conflict ; be there, my Jesus, to strengthen me ! 

Let me suffer much during these two years to be 

spent in preparing for the religious life ; detach my 

heart from all things ; free it from all that would 

prevent its seeing Thee ; break my will, crush my 

pride, Thou Who art humble of heart ; make it a 

fit dwelling-place in which Thou mayest love to rest 

and hold intercourse with me in ideal union. O 

Divine Heart ! uproot, consume, all that displeases 

Thee, so that my poor heart may be one with Thine! 

Two years more ! what a long time ! But my 

happiness will be so sweet that I feel and taste it 

already. Tell me, my Beloved, will nothing come 

between us ? No, I feel confident ; and, perhaps 

who knows perhaps it may be shorter ! Plan as 

Thou wilt ; I trust all to Thee. Take pity, Jesus ; 

enlighten my confessor ; strengthen my mother, who 

MISSION OF 1899 39 


is so nobly resigned ; reward Marguerite ; and as 
for me, make me suffer ; take me, I am all Thine 
own !" 

Easter Day. Easter joy does not cause Elizabeth 
to forget her sorrow for him for whom she has 
prayed so fervently. " Alleluia ! Alleluia ! Good 
Jesus, I am weeping on this day of glory and joy. 
I weep because the mission is over, and, above all, 

because of the obstinacy of Monsieur N . I 

heard Thy voice in the depths of my heart this 
morning bidding me not despair, for if my prayers 
seemed unheard, at least all my petitions and suffer- 
ings had consoled Thy heart. The thought comforts 
me ; yet can I be happy while Thou, my Spouse, 
art suffering ? But rejoice, O Lord, over all the 
conversions won during this mission, and I will unite 
myself to the joy of Thy heart that I may spend this 
Easter Day less sadly. On this beautiful feast think 
solely of the lost sheep that have returned to the 

"The missioner bade us farewell, recommending 
those whose prayers have remained unheard not to 
be discouraged, as he assured them that their petitions 
must inevitably some day be granted, for God will 
take account of so many prayers and sacrifices. His 
words did me good." 

Alas! that hardened sinner, follower of Voltaire 
as he was, justified the fears of the Reverend Pere 

L . When his death, characterized by every 

sign of impenitence, was announced at Carmel, Sister 
Elizabeth of the Trinity, raising her eyes to heaven, 
drew a deep sigh and adored the justice of God, 
exclaiming: "Poor man !" We did not know at 
the time all that his soul had cost her. Wholly 


given as she was to God, she never seemed to think 
of her side of the question ; her sole grief was on 
account of the indifference shown to the divine love, 
as the following lines prove : " I was deeply pained 

at hearing of the death of Monsieur N . What 

love has God shown, and yet men close their hearts 
against it !" 

The burning zeal which so consumed her in her 
early youth was rooted in a charity c< set in order " 
by the Divine Spouse Who had " brought her into 
the cellar " of prayer. 

" Have you not heard," writes an ancient author, 
" what the bride says that the King ' brought me 
into the cellar of wine, He set in order charity in 
me' ?"* That is what happens to the soul, and God 
wishes it to come out stamped with His seal that 
is, with His own love, with His desire for the salva- 
tion of souls, and with His pain at seeing the great 
offences committed against His Father.f 

* Canticle of Canticles ii. 4. 

t " Catechisme de sainte Terese," par le Rev. Pere Pierre- 
Thomas de Sainte-Marie, chap, xxxviii. ; also " The Interior 
Castle," M. v, chap. ii. 11-13. 



Sister Elizabeth's spirit of prayer Her degree of prayer Her 
influence O crux, ave, sfes unica ! Her intercourse with 
Carmel Her last retreat while in the world. 

IT is not to be surprised at that so generous a soul 
was overwhelmed with graces. " Thy measure will 
be My measure," said our Lord to St. Catherine of 
Siena. Elizabeth's measure must have been full to 

Her first grace was a spirit of prayer, which led 
her to spend hours at a time in church. One of her 
mother's friends asked her what she could be saying 
to God for so long together. " O madame," she 
replied, " we love one another !" An answer worthy 
of a daughter of St. Teresa ; for did not the seraphic 
Mother teach that prayer consisted less in thinking 
much than in loving much ? * While still very young 
Elizabeth instinctively practised prayer. At thirteen 
years of age the Last Supper was her favourite 
subject for meditation. How did this privileged 
soul spend these cherished hours? We can imagine 
her as resting on the Heart of the Divine Master, 
like the virgin Apostle, reposing peacefully in the 

* "The Interior Castle," M. iv., chap. i. 7. 


confidence that characterized her. Then the mystery 
that was to absorb her life began to be revealed to 
her in the secrets of divine love. The Agony in the 
Garden also attracted her. We mentioned a period 
of trial which followed her first Communion. Per- 
haps her own sufferings made her dwell upon those 
of the Divine Sufferer of Gethsemani. Were they the 
cause of her long watches beside the Saviour, " sorrow- 
ful unto death '? However it may have been, the 
generous young girl sought to console Him by a 
compassion the sincerity of which was proved by her 
offering to share His bitter chalice. 

Elizabeth's soul gained in fortitude by her office 
of angel of consolation. The longing to suffer in her 
turn, produced by her loving contemplation, upheld 
her in her difficulties, for in her case the movements 
of grace always bore practical results. 

At about this epoch, feeling that she was called to 
the mystic nuptials, she forestalled them by a vow of 
virginity, which was followed by a genuine grace of 
recollection ; henceforth nothing distracted her 
attention from God. Penetrated by the Divine 
presence and overcome by the effects she experienced, 
she said to herself: "When I see my confessor I 
shall ask him what is passing in my soul." The 
prudent confessor endeavoured less to enlighten her 
about her state of contemplation than to teach her to 
make the necessary efforts to conform her life to the 
good pleasure of Him Who already took such 
delight in her soul. God revealed to her His dwell- 
ing within her soul ; it was there she was to enter 
into herself, like St. Teresa and the virgin of Siena. 
"Since I cannot break with the world and live in 
solitude," she writes, "at least give me solitude of 


heart, that I may live with Thee in intimate union 
from which nothing can distract me. . . . Thou 
knowest well, my Divine Master, that when I mix 
with the world I find my consolation in retiring into 
myself to enjoy Thy presence which I realize so 
clearly within me. No one thinks of Thee amidst 
such gaieties, and it seems as if Thou wert glad that 
one heart, even though as miserable as mine, should 
remember Thee." 

Prayer was her delight. Her love for it was 
insatiable, and she rose before daybreak even in the 
coldest wintry weather to obtain an extra hour for it. 
Fear of missing the try sting-place made her wakeful. 
" How many matches I was obliged to hide," she said, 
" to avoid inconvenient questions !" 

Prayer was for Elizabeth as for all sincere souls 
the school of sanctity. " O Christ, crucified upon the 
cross," she wrote, " as I gaze on Thee I realize all the 
malice of sin ! While Thy tormentors pierced Thy 
feet and hands, while Thou didst endure a thousand 
torments on the cross, my countless faults and 
infidelities were before Thine eyes. Ah ! how dear 
they cost Thee ! Yet Thou didst also foresee the 
love that I should bear Thee, and how, in return for 
Thy love for me, I should be ready to yield Thee my 
life a thousand times. O my Jesus ! forgive me all 
the anguish I have caused Thy Divine Heart ! 
Grant me pardon, and look solely on my love. . . . 

" Who can describe how sweet it is when heart 
speaks to heart ; when one no longer seems to belong 
to this world, but sees and listens to nothing but 
God ? God, Who speaks tenderly to the heart, 
asking it to suffer for Him, and to console Jesus, 
Who longs for a little love. How eagerly do I beg 


Jesus for the cross at such times that cross which is 
my stay, my hope ; the cross I long to share with the 
Master Who deigns to choose me as the confidante 
and consoler of His Heart. I strive by my love, 
my interest, my sacrifices, and my prayers, to make 
Him forget His sorrows ! I desire to love Him for 
those who love Him not." 

She seems, to a certain extent, to have experienced 
a higher state of prayer described by St. Teresa. 
" How much I like the way the Saint, while speaking 
of contemplation, speaks of the degree of prayer in 
which God works more than the soul, uniting it to 
Himself so intimately that it is no longer we who 
live, but He Who lives in us ... which I recognize 
in the hours of supreme happiness that the Divine 
Master deigned to grant me during this retreat (1899), 
as well as since then. What return can I make Him 
for His benefits ? . . ." After these short ecstasies, 
during which the soul forgets self, and sees nothing 
but its God, how hard and painful ordinary prayer 
appears, how laborious it is to struggle to control all 
the powers, how much it costs, and how difficult it 
seems ! 

The spirit of prayer lit in her heart the living 
flame of love which was so swiftly to consume her. 
Already her gentle influence was felt by others. 
Elizabeth showed the signs of a soul that holds 
within it heavenly treasures. She began to benefit 
those around her, for the flowers of this garden gave 
forth so fragrant and so sweet a perfume that people 
longed to draw near her.* 

From very early youth her influence attracted 
others. One of her friends, now a nun, writes : 
* " Cat6chisme de sainte Terse," chap, xxxviii. 


" She was twelve years old when we first became 
acquainted. Her fervour and generosity attracted 
me at once, and I foresaw that she would do me 
much good. While preparing for my first Com- 
munion, I loved to talk to her of the great day and its 
deep joys, for I guessed what her own dispositions 
must have been." 

Another correspondent writes: "I shall never forget 
how Mademoiselle Catez edified me during a retreat 
we made together. The touching fervour with which 
she made the Stations of the Cross so impressed me 
that my devotion was more roused by watching her 
than by making them myself. I was irresistibly 
compelled to remain in my place, uniting my soul to 
hers, and making her feelings my own, that I might 
offer them to our Lord. 

" I saw her once more, kneeling near the confes- 
sional of the Redemptorist Fathers, during the mission 
of 1899. During the long delay I had leisure to 
observe her. She was so deeply recollected that I 
never saw her move for an hour and a half; she 
seemed surrounded by a kind of atmosphere that 
isolated her from all around. Great graces were 
evidently being reserved for her, and she would, no 
doubt, give herself with a rare generosity, as the 
later events of her life proved." 

Elizabeth gave a very good example in the parish 
choir of young girls. She always showed herself 
ready to help others. Yet so modest was she that, in 
spite of her talent, she never permitted herself to 
offer the slightest criticism. 

She devoted herself with great fervour to the 
catechism class which offered her an occasion of 
proving her love for the Divine Master and of 


exercising the zeal that consumed her. The un- 
disciplined pupils of the secular schools were subdued 
by the hidden charm of her goodness, and their love 
for her made the most rebellious obey her joyfully. 

A little girl, aged fourteen, who had not yet made 
her first Communion, was confided to her. She 
devoted herself to the charge, and spared neither her 
prayers nor her sacrifices. "The good God gave 
me this chosen soul to prepare me for my first Com- 
munion and to complete the very rudimentary re- 
ligious teaching I had received," writes the girl. 
" Her angelic face won my heart immediately, and 
my veneration and affection for her increased every 
time I visited her. Nothing could equal her patience 
and sweetness. How lovingly she spoke to me of 
the great Sacrament I was about to receive ! How 
she urged me to pray to our Lady, implanting in 
my heart the germs of a filial devotion to her ! Her 
zeal redoubled during the retreat made in preparation 
for the great day. I remember particularly her piety 
as she prayed with and for me ; and 1 was struck by 
her recollection as we walked to church together. I 
understand now how deeply she realized that she 
was the tabernacle of Jesus. She told me that this 
was what I was about to become, and that I must be 
very pure, and carefully prepare my general confes- 
sion for which she helped me to examine myself. I 
had but a very short list of sins of which to accuse 
myself. * My dear,' said Mademoiselle Catez, ' you 
are happy enough to have committed few sins ; I 
was not like you, I cannot say how many I could 
remember,' which was her delicate and humble 
manner of telling me to examine my conscience 
more carefully." 


Elizabeth did not forget that suffering is the sole 
way of rendering our zeal active and fruitful. She 
wrote : " My God, in union with Jesus crucified, I 
offer myself as victim. I desire the cross as my 
strength and support, and wish to live with it, that 
it may be my treasure, since Jesus chose it for my 
sake. I thank Him for this mark of predestination. 
* O crux, ave, spes unica !' Yes, Thou shalt ever be 
my support, my strength, my hope. Holy cross, 
supreme treasure that Jesus reserves for those His 
heart elects, I wish to live with Thee, to die with 
Thee, like the Bridegroom Whom I love ! I wish 
to live and die on the cross. 

" My Saviour, I desire to return Thee love for 
love, blood for blood. Thou didst die for me, there- 
fore I will daily endure fresh sufferings for Thee ; 
every day shall bring me some fresh martyrdom 
because of my deep love for Thee." 

The passion for suffering grew in her as the fitting 
expression of her love, and the generous girl cour- 
ageously imposed severe penances upon herself. In 
her longing to resemble her Master she went so far 
as to ask Him for the impression of His crown of 
thorns, and her request was heard. She was con- 
tinually tortured by unaccustomed and severe head- 
aches, although her expression remained joyful and 
happy. Her secret, which for long she closely kept, 
was at last discovered. She was told to pray that 
her trial might be ended ; it ceased under the grace 
of obedience after having lasted two years. 

To her great delight she became the possessor of 
a hair shirt, which she wore at night, as she could not 
do so during the day. Her health soon became 
affected, although the reason was unsuspected. She 


confided in the Mother Prioress of Carmel, who 
traced her illness to the imprudent penance, and her 
health was restored by the sleep required by a girl 
of twenty. 

It is evident from this that she was no longer 
forbidden to visit her longed-for convent. It greatly 
comforted her, during her last two years of exile, to 
open her mind to one who sympathized with her, 
and to receive Teresian counsel. Elizabeth joined a 
small group of young girls connected with Carmel 
who delighted in helping the out-sisters to decorate 
the chapel on the eves of festivals, as they had read of 
their predecessors doing in the old chronicle of the 
Carmel of Dijon. People still remember Elizabeth's 
energy as she dusted the choir grating for the cere- 
mony of a clothing, how happy she looked during the 
short time she spent in the shadow of the convent she 
loved, and how wistfully she gazed at its closed door. 

" It was a real trial to me," she confided to us, " to 
be taken during the holidays far from my Carmel, 
from Dijon and its churches, that I loved so well. 
Fond as I was of my friends, I felt a void while in 
their company ; and though I appeared to live, yet I 
felt lifeless." 

No one suspected anything of the sort ; the brave 
girl knew how to hide her feelings for the sake of 
those dear to her, so that she was as popular as ever, 
and as charming in society. 

Elizabeth spent the summer of 1899 in travelling, 
as usual first in France, and then in Switzerland, 
which enchanted her by its beauty. Her enthusiasm 
was easily aroused by the beauties of nature, and she 
became absorbed in the contemplation of the works 
of the Creator. 



" Enjoy those beautiful landscapes," she writes 
from her little cell in Carmel. " Nature leads us to 
the good God. I used to love the mountains which 
spoke to me of Him." In a letter to her sister, 
staying in the Pyrenees, she says : " One never gets 
tired of watching the sea. Do you remember the last 
time we saw it together at the rocker de la Vierge at 
Biarritz ? What happy hours I spent there ! How 
lovely it was to see the ground-swell covering the 
rocks! The sight used to thrill me with its grandeur. 
Enjoy it thoroughly. As for me, 1 discover all 
these vast horizons in God now that I am at 

The balls commenced again in the winter, and 
Elizabeth accompanied her young sister to them in 
order to please her mother. 

" Now the parties have begun again ; you know 
how little I care for them. However, I offer them 
to the good God, and nothing seems able to distract 
my mind from Him. When all one's actions are 
done for Him, in His holy presence, beneath the 
Divine gaze which penetrates the soul, one hears 
Him still in the silence of a heart which longs to be 
His alone." 

Elizabeth's diary ends with her last retreat made in 
the world. 

" Tuesday r , January 23. O my God, what graces 
hast Thou bestowed upon Thy poor little creature 
since last year's retreat ! Thou, Who knowest all 
things, dost know, at all events, that I love Thee ! 
I wish to become a saint for Thy sake. I have one 
more tedious year to pass in the world ; let it be 
spent in doing much good ! Make me a true Carmelite, 
for in soul I can and will be one ! 



" Help me, my God, during this retreat, for I long 
not only to save my own soul, but to bring others 
back to Thee ; I am consumed by this longing. 
Thou Who canst read my heart knowest that if I 
desire to suffer and to leave all for Thee, it is not 
to be freed from purgatory, but only to console Thee, 

my Beloved! Were it Thy will, I should be 
ready to live in hell, so that the prayer of a heart that 
loved Thee might ceaselessly rise to Thee from the 
depths of the infernal regions. I recommend to 
Thee, my God, all the souls that are about to follow 
this retreat. If it be Thy will, I renounce for their 
sake all the consolations that Thou mightest bestow 
on me. But I am weak ; do Thou uphold me ! Let 
me live during this time of blessing in a closer union 
with Thee ; let me remain in that hidden recess of 
my being where I see and feel Thee so clearly. Alas ! 

1 often leave Thee as lonely as Thou wert in the 
desert ! How like me, feeble as I am ! Yet I love 
Thee, and envy the great souls that have loved Thee 
devotedly !" 

After the instruction on death she exclaims : " O 
my God, may I die with Thee ! May I die bearing 
Thee within my heart ! When I appear before Thee, 
my Jesus, mayest Thou recognize Thy bride who 
left all for Thee ! Let me not give Thee cause to feel 
ashamed of me, nor let me see Thee look on me with 
anger. No, 1 trust in Thee ! Then at length, my 
Beloved, I shall see Thee, I shall possess Thee 
without fear of losing Thee, and shall be inebriated 
with Thy love. The thought transports me with 
happiness. Perhaps, O my Jesus, Thou wilt call me 
to Thee soon ; may Thy will be done ! 1 only wish 
for what Thou dost will. Thou knowest I have 


given Thee all, and that I would have no desires but 
Thine ! But, if ever I am to offend Thee mortally, I 
beg, as I have done so many times before, that Thou 
wilt take me to Thyself. Take me, I beseech Thee, 
I conjure Thee, while I am still wholly Thine !" 

After the sermon on the last judgment, she writes : 
" O Master ! I know that I have offended Thee 
deeply, yet I love Thee dearly ! I go to Thee in 
perfect confidence as to a loving Friend. Thou 
seemest to be pleased by this loving familiarity ; 
therefore I await with perfect self-surrender the 
moment when I shall for ever be united to Thee . . . 
and I hope at least that I shall still be able to labour 
for Thy glory. 

" Let me, as long as I remain on earth, do some 
good ; I am Thy little victim ; make use of me, do 
with me what Thou pleasest. I abandon all to Thee 
my soul, my body, will, and desires I yield them 
all to Thee ! 

" I have given myself to the good Master," she 
cried on the last day ; " I have surrendered all to 
Him, even my dearest wish. I only will what He 
wills ; let Him take me when He chooses ! 

"After these days spent in recollection, I cannot 
say how sad I feel at the thought that I must go 
back to my ordinary life. I offer Thee this suffer- 
ing, O Master ; I am ready for all Thou askest, to 
follow the path Thou settest me ! 

" I have made the same resolutions again this 
year : humility and self-renunciation, which include 
all the rest, and I beg Thee, my Jesus, to help me 
to keep them faithfully. Yes, I promise Thee, my 
Beloved, to humble and renounce myself whenever 
occasion offers ! . 


" I saw the Prioress of Carmel at the end of my 
retreat. How much the long interview with her 
did for me ! On leaving the parlour, I visited the 
chapel and consecrated myself anew at Mary's altar 
to my dear Mother ; may she keep me pure and 
preserve my heart, which is wholly yielded to Jesus, 
free from the slightest stain ! 

" O my Divine Master, let my life be one con- 
tinued prayer ; let nothing, nothing, distract me 
from Thee neither work, nor pleasures, nor suffer- 
ings ! Let me be immersed in Thee ! 

" In five days M is to leave all for Thee ; I 

yield her to Thee, thanking Thee for having chosen 
us both for Thy brides. I wish that I, too, could 
respond to Thy call, but the hour has not yet come. 
May the holy will of God be always mine. . . . 
Yes, Lord, may Thy will be done ! I can belong to 
Thee even in the world. Then take my whole being ; 
let Elizabeth disappear, and nothing remain but 
Jesus ! . . ." 


Tarbes and Lourdes The Carmel of Dijon The hour of grace 
Faith and self-renunciation Letters and souvenirs 
August 2, 1901. 

THE summer holidays were spent in a series of fare- 
wells to her friends and the places Elizabeth would 
never revisit. While staying at Tarbes she some- 
times called upon the Reverend Mother Prioress of 
the Carmelite Convent. 

"At the end of quite a long visit," the latter 
relates, " I was obliged to summon one of the out- 
sisters to the parlour while Elizabeth was still there. 
The sister asked me if I knew that she was on her 
knees. She must have been kneeling beside the 
grille the whole time. It was easy to see from her 
conversation that her soul was given to God, so that 
we were less surprised than delighted at the marvels 
of grace described in the * death notice ' we received 
from Dijon." 

It was at Tarbes, while visiting a young nun who 
had just taken the veil, that her mother gave her 
final consent. When the latter saw the overflowing 
joy of the new Carmelite and her daughter's tears, 
she realized that her child's happiness was at stake, 



and said to her on leaving : " Do not cry ; I will 
not make you wait much longer." 

Elizabeth was unspeakably consoled during her 
two days' sojourn at Lourdes. She had the happiness 
of receiving Holy Communion in the Grotto, a place 
from which she could not tear herself away. 

She was specially attracted by the mystery of the 
purity of the Immaculate Virgin for whom she had 
a tender and filial devotion, and had already received 
many graces and heavenly inspirations when she 
visited the rocks of Massabieilles, in the Pyrenees, 
with her family during the holidays. She came this 
year for the last time to beg the " Star of the Sea " 
to guide her safely into port. 

Her travels ended with a short stay at Paris. 
Her mother and sister went there to see the Great 
Exhibition, but the sanctuaries of Notre-Dame des 
Victoires and Montmartre were the only spots that 
interested the future Carmelite. She longed N to 
return to Dijon to her beloved convent, to prepare 
for her entrance into the holy ark, the chief matter 
that occupied her during these last few months. 

Fortunately, the organization of the chants for our 
services furnished her with a pretext for numerous 
visits to the Reverend Mother Prioress. "Dear, 
poor, little parlour, what delightful moments I spend 
there ! My Jesus, I beg Thee to repay the kind 
Mother for all the good she does me ; she under- 
stands so well how to bring Thee to my soul !" 

On her side, the Mother Prioress said of her : 
" What a charming child ! She consoles me for 
everything. . . ." " We used to speak of prayer," 
she writes in a letter we received to-day. " Hers was 
quite simple and uniform. The Divine Master was 


there within her, fashioning her as He chose. She 
complained that she did nothing, ravished as she 
was by Him Who did all." 

At Carmel Elizabeth met a Dominican priest who 
was destined by Providence to exercise an influence 
over her inner life. This Father had a special grace 
for speaking of the Blessed Trinity. The august 
mystery had not yet been revealed in her soul, 
which was concentrated on love of the Divine Master 
and a desire of becoming absorbed in the contempla- 
tion of His sufferings. Transformation into Jesus 
crucified was already her ideal of sanctity, so that it 
cost her something to submit when the Mother 
Prioress told her to renounce her name of Elizabeth 
of Jesus, as she intended to consecrate her to the 
Three Divine Persons. The young girl soon blamed 
herself for such a regret, for the name of Elizabeth 
of the Trinity was for her a vocation indeed, it was 
her whole vocation. 

Meanwhile, the religious, putting into words what 
she already felt by intuition, set before her what 
might be described as boundless views of the exceed- 
ing love of God. Her soul was transported by it, 
and her prayer became still deeper. In this light of 
faith, which was always her guiding beacon, she used 
to remain in silent adoration of the Divine treasures 
laid open to her.* 

* " One recreation day, after an intimate conversation with 
Elizabeth, astonished at the beauty of her soul, I could not refrain 
from asking her : * Who has taught you all this ?' She answered 
with a careless gesture peculiar to her : ' I don't know how I 
learnt it, Sister. However, I own to you that Pere Vallee 
influenced me very strongly. The first time he saw me he spoke 
to me about the Divine charity towards us. I felt over- 
whelmed. . . . Never have I forgotten the impression made 


" It was a real joy," writes the Dominican, u to 
speak of our Lord and His grace dwelling within us 
to this soul, so pure, so intuitive, and yet so simple, 
whose will and intelligence had been given to the 
Divine Master from the very first" 

The fruit of her realization of this truth was a 
childlike faith which grafted her in a peaceful and 
loving abandonment to the care of Him Whose 
Divine Fatherhood, now that it stood revealed, 
brought solace to the anguish of her longing. 

" I yield myself to Him ; I abandon myself, and 
am at peace. I know in Whom I trust. He is 
almighty ; let Him arrange all things according to 
His good pleasure. I only will what He wills ; I 
desire what He desires. I ask but one thing of 
Him a true, generous, and strong love for Him." 

Two months later, our little dove, full of hope 
and joy, would enter the ark. From her letters and 
diaries we can follow her till she ends her calm and 
steady flight, and listen to her last songs in a " strange 

"May 19, 1901. 


"How good God is! How sweet it is to 
give ourselves, to yield ourselves utterly to Him ! 

on me by what he said about the infinite love which seeks and 
pursues each soul.' " " The effect of this first meeting," con- 
tinues another nun, "was one of the things which most clearly 
revealed to me the soul of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity. Others, 
initiated like herself into the mystery of Divine love, are only 
under the influence of the light they have received at certain 
times. She never withdrew from it. It was because she was 
in a fit state to correspond at once with the gifts of grace, like 
soft wax ready to receive the stamp of the seal, or like the calm 
and lovely lake spoken of by St. John of the Cross, in which the 
heavens can mirror their beauty." 


When He wills, He knows how to overcome all 
obstacles and smooth away every difficulty. 

" I entrusted all that concerns me to Him ; 1 
asked Him to speak to dear mamma Himself. He 
did it so well that I needed to say nothing. Poor 
mamma ! If you could only see how good she is ! 
She leaves all to the good God and realizes what He 
wants, so that she will allow me to enter Carmel in 
two months. I have wished and waited so long for 
the day that I feel as if I were dreaming now. But 
do not imagine that I do not feel the sacrifice. I 
offer it to God whenever I think of the separation. 
Could I make a greater sacrifice than that of such a 
mother as mine ? Ah ! He understands, His heart 
is so tender, and He knows that it is for His sake ; 
He upholds me and prepares me for the sacrifice ! 

" You know that this good Master wants me for 
Himself alone. I knew it, so I felt confident and 
was sure He would take me. Thank God for your 
little Elizabeth ; He has given her so much, especially 
graces known to no one but Himself things which 
take place in the very depths of the soul. Oh, what 
love ! But He knows well that I love Him, and 
that seems to me to include everything. 

" Is not to live by love that is to say, to live no 
longer except with Him, in Him, by Him to be 
already partly in Paradise while still on earth ? I 
will tell you a secret. If you only knew how home- 
sick I sometimes feel for heaven, for I wish so 
intensely to go there to be near Him. I should be 
glad if He took me even before I entered Carmel, 
for Carmel in heaven is far better, and I should be a 
Carmelite just the same in Paradise. When I say 
this to the Mother Prioress, she tells me I am lazy ; 


still, I only wish what the good God wishes, and if 
He chooses to leave me on earth for a very long 
while, I am quite ready to live there for Him. 

" You will think me rather heartless. I am 
ashamed of all the foolish things 1 say ; but you 
asked me to write freely to you, and I obey besides, 
I think you understand me. 

" I still beg you for your holy prayers, of which I 
have special need. Pray above all for my darling 
mamma ; ask God to take my place in her heart and 
to be all in all to her." 

" Friday, June 14, 1901. 

" For the last ten days I have been suffering with 
a slight attack of synovitis in my knee. I am glad : 
it is a favour from my Beloved, Who wishes His 
little bride to share the pain of His Divine knees on 
the way to Calvary. I am deprived of church and 
Holy Communion, but the good God can come to 
me without any Sacrament ; I feel that I have Him 
with me quite as much. It is there, in the very 
depths of my soul, that I love to find Him, since He 
never leaves me. God in me and I in Him oh ! 
that is my life ! . . . What a consolation to think 
that, except that we do not see Him, we possess 
Him already as the blessed possess Him in heaven ; 
that we are able to keep ever beside Him, never 
letting ourselves be distracted from Him. Pray that 
I may allow Him to make me wholly His, and to 
take me to Him. . . . 

" Did I ever tell you what my name is to be in 
Carmel ? . . . Elizabeth of the Trinity! I think 
this name points to my special vocation. Is it not 
beautiful ? I delight in the mystery of the Blessed 
Trinity ; I lose myself in its depths. 


" Only a month to wait ! The last moments are 
agonizing. Poor mamma ! Pray for her. I give 
her entirely into the care of the good God. ' Think 
of Me, and I will think of thee,' our Lord said to St. 
Catharine of Siena. It is so sweet to abandon all to 
Him when we know Him in Whom we confide ! 

" Good-bye, dear Canon A . I send you my 

photograph. I was thinking of Him while it was 
taken, so it will bring Him to you. Pray for me ; I 
assure you that I need it. 


Let us listen again to the reminiscences of one 
who can speak with authority of her whom we shall 
soon call " Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity." Her 
charming account will form a fitting close to the first 
part of our biography : 

"When I first met Elizabeth she was seventeen. 
I was captivated by her at our first interview. A 
year later I made acquaintance with her mother, and 
Elizabeth, who knew that I had been connected with 
Carmel, made friends with me. We soon became 
very intimate, and I could read the secrets of the 
interior life already taught her by God. They were 
all comprised in the one word Love ! She was 
passionately devoted to our Lord, which explains the 
extraordinary thirst for suffering that prepared her 
for her sublime vocation. 

" Love is of two kinds the love that receives, and 
the love that gives. Hers was the latter. For her 
to love was to devote, to sacrifice, to immolate herself 
' to love until I die of very love/ as she says in 
her beautiful prayer.* She longed to prove her love 
* This prayer is to be found in the Appendix. 


for God ; and as contemplation did not suffice, she 
gave herself. And this she did once for all and 
entirely, consecrating her life within the cloister, 
where, drop by drop, she spent her life's blood, 
crucifying her body, her heart, her soul . . . until she 
died. She followed the example of her Master and 
her Bridegroom to the very end. 

" I was specially struck by two things in her 
sensitive, impulsive soul her longing for suffering, 
and her desire for death. When we talked together 
about her grand and noble vocation, I could not 
resist saying : * Do not deceive yourself, Elizabeth. 
God takes such souls as yours at their word. He will 
accept your gift of yourself, and you may be sure 
that by entering Carmel you are plunging into an 
abyss of suffering. I do not know what sufferings 
God is keeping for you ; perhaps yours will be 
crosses of every kind, since you wish to be like your 
Jesus. ... It is a bottomless abyss. . . .' She 
answered with her sweet and beaming smile : * I am 
ready to take the plunge. I hope to suffer deeply ; 
that is my reason for entering Carmel ; and if the good 
God were to deprive me of it for a single day I 
should fear that He had forgotten me.' 

tc Sometimes, homesick for heaven like all the 
saints, she longed for death to destroy the obstacle 
that separated her from the Beatific Vision. She 
often said to me with glowing eyes, like a child that 
talks of going home : ' For me death would be like 
the crumbling of that wall' (pointing to the wall of 
my room). * I should fall into the arms of Him I 
love !' Her accents showed how she yearned for it ; 
then calmly and quietly she added : However, I 
must wait.' She had not long to wait, for she loved 
< until she died of very love.' God did not forget 


her for a single day, for she suffered, as she craved to, 
until she died of it. 

" She often came to see me, and always talked on 
the same subject. ' When shall I enter Carmel ? 
What a joy it is to love the good God ! My soul 
cannot dilate itself with His love except in the 
solitude of the cloister. ... I long to be there, 
that I may pray, and suffer, and love !' 

" Except when she poured out her heart in confi- 
dence, she never appeared different from other people. 
She was quiet and cheerful, peaceful and smiling ; but 
her smile was serious, and her gaze seemed fixed on 
something beyond this world. I was struck by it on 
the point of her entering the convent. While waiting 
for her in the chapel to say a last good-bye, I heard a 
slight noise, and, turning round, my glance met 
hers. ... I could not describe it. ... Her expres- 
sion was rather angelic than human. Her eyes were 
luminous and transparent shining with 1 the light 
of heaven. . . . She made an impression upon me 
that I shall never forget. ... It was the last time 
that I saw her outside the grille." 

Another incident concerning Elizabeth before she 
entered her convent testifies to the generosity of the 
postulant who constantly endeavoured to renounce 
self and to be resigned to the will of God. The 
Prioress of Dijon was preparing to make a foundation 
at Paray-le-Monial when she first met Elizabeth, and 
the idea naturally occurred to her of including in the 
little group of nuns to be sent there, one who so fully 
realized St. Teresa's ideal of a subject for a fresh com- 
munity, and who would be an example and blessing 
to the novitiate. The Reverend Mother, therefore, 
offered Elizabeth the grace of being one of those 
chosen for the Sacre Cceur. The latter, thinking it 


more perfect to have no choice in the matter, accepted 
the proposal with simplicity, without owning her 
preference for the Carmel of Dijon, upon which she 
had so long set her heart, and of which she felt herself 
already a member. On the other hand, the work of 
making a foundation a real grace for some religious, 
on account of its endless opportunities of well-doing 
was distasteful to Elizabeth, who needed regular 
and established observance for her longed-for life of 
solitude and prayer. 

As the time drew nearer the poor girl suffered 
more and more keenly in the increasing struggle 
against her preference, for she had "abandoned her- 
self entirely to God, leaving Him to direct all things 
according to His good pleasure, reserving nothing for 
herself except a valiant, generous love for Him." 

The disappointment felt by her mother and sister 
increased her sorrow, while making her more care- 
ful not to betray her feelings, lest Nature should 
intervene in what ought to be entirely supernatural. 
She submitted her own will as her love led her to do 
in all else. 

Her postulant's dress had been sent to Paray-le- 
Monial, and the day of her departure drew near. 
Madame Catez, overcome at the prospect of so com- 
plete a separation from her daughter, regretted that 
the Mother Prioress was about to make the founda- 
tion ; yet her conscience was too delicate to allow her 
to withdraw her promise of letting Elizabeth enter 
her house. She confided in a friend, who advised 
her to consult some competent authority. Madame 
Catez did so, and was encouraged in her wish of 
keeping her daughter near her. She told the Mother 
Prioress. The reply, given by one whose sole 
thought was to follow the Divine will, regardless of 


the sacrifices which for many months that will had 
demanded of her, was addressed to Elizabeth : 

" No doubt you are aware that your mother and 
Marguerite have asked me to leave you at Dijon, 
which it seems is also your wish. I recognize 
in it the will of the good God, which we ought to 
love and obey without demur. Give yourself to 
our Lord in the place where He wishes you to be ; 
I would not have brought you here against His will. 
I will receive you for Dijon, dear child ; bring your 
whole heart and soul with you, with which to love 
our Lord. I wish I could be there to offer you to 
Him, but business keeps me here ; yet my prayers 
and my heart will be there to bless you." 

"Then, and not till then," says Marguerite, 
" Elizabeth owned to me that she had felt very sad 
at the prospect of not entering the Carmel of Dijon ; 
but she had thought that her sacrifice would be more 
complete if she renounced even the choice of her 

As her daughter's health suffered from the trials 
of her last days in the world, Madame Catez, forget- 
ful of her own feelings, came to us and asked us to 
fix an earlier date for Elizabeth's entrance into 
Carmel, and on August 2 the doors were opened 
to the happy postulant. 

There is a touching simplicity about the last hours 
spent together by those who loved one another so 
tenderly. On the eve of the first Friday of the 
month Elizabeth, faithful to her tryst at Gethsemani, 
had spent part of the night in prayer, when her poor 
mother, who could not sleep, came to kneel and weep 
beside her bed, mingling her tears with those of her 
devoted daughter, who did not seek to hide her 
anguish. " Why do you leave me, then ?" asked 


the mother. " Ah ! dearest mother, can I resist 
God when He calls me ? He holds out His arms to 
me, and tells me that He is despised, outraged, 
forsaken ! And shall I, too, abandon Him ? He 
wants victims, and I must go. Grieved as I am to 
leave you and to cause you sorrow, I must follow 
His call !" 

When at last the time came for Elizabeth to leave 
her home for ever, she knelt before her father's 
portrait to ask him for his blessing. Then, calm 
and brave, she came to Mass at our chapel. Her 
mother and sister and a few attached friends accom- 
panied her to the altar, and then to the enclosure 
door which was shut upon her as she turned for a 
last look at those she loved so fondly. 

At daybreak on that great day she had written to 
Carcassonne : 

" I want to send you a last farewell before entering 
Carmel. We are to receive Holy Communion at 
eight o'clock, and when He is in our hearts, mamma 
will take me to the enclosure door. I love my 
mother as I never loved her before, and my soul is 
filled with peace now that I am about to accomplish 
the sacrifice that will separate me from the two I so 
fondly cherish. I no longer belong to this world, 
but feel that I am entirely His, that I keep back 
nothing, and I cast myself into His arms as though I 
were a little child." 

It was thus, with the self-surrender and simplicity 
of a child, that she cast herself into the arms of her 
who was to stand for her henceforth in the place of 

* This was the Mother Sub-Prioress, as the Reverend Mother 
Prioress was still at Paray-le-Monial. The former was placed at 
the head of the community by the next elections. 


"The joy of my life consists in my intimacy with the Guest 
Who resides within my soul." 




The chief characteristics of a Carmelite vocation Impetuous 
joy Recollection Echoes from the cloister Fervent 
preparation for her clothing The ceremony. 

AUGUST 2, 1901, the day on which the doors of 
Carmel opened to the happy postulant, was the first 
Friday of the month, a day consecrated to the suffer- 
ings of our Saviour and to reparation Elizabeth's 
two special devotions at the time she entered our 
convent, which was dedicated to le Cceur agonisant 
de Jesus. 

There, seconded by the grace of the Mystery 
which had so long inspired her prayer, she was to 
be, till death, an angel of consolation, fulfilling 
St. Teresa's object in making her foundations : " To 
give our Lord friends whose devotion nothing can 
affect, now that so many forget and offend Him." 

While the Divine Master, exposed upon His 
Eucharistic throne, was receiving her adoration for 
the first time within the cloister, we rejoiced at being 
able to offer a victim of such purity as this innocent 
girl to the great High Priest. 

" Her soul is altogether angelic ; there are few 
like it even among those who enter the cloister," 
said the Dominican Father who had come to con- 



secrate her generous self-oblation. His words fitly 
describe the beginning of her religious life. She 
had passed through the world preserving her inno- 
cence without a stain, and might have said, like 
another of heaven's chosen souls : " Touch me not ; 
I am passing by !" She would " pass by " at 
Carmel " as a bright fire, and frankincense burning 
in the fire."* 

Her gifts, both of nature and of grace, were an 
augury of her future career. She already possessed 
the spirit of the eremitical life with which St. Teresa 
endowed her convents. While in the midst of worldly 
society she dwelt within the little cell she had con- 
structed in her heart, and now that she was set on 
the Holy Mountain, she would soon win the graces 
of solitude. 

From the very first she was delighted with a saying 
of our Mothers in the old days, "Live alone with the 
One" which became the motto of her religious life. 

Prayer, which the seraphic Mother termed the 
cement that held her convents together, was already 
familiar to the postulant. We have seen how she 
was actuated by the spirit of penance and apostolic 
zeal, so that the chief characteristics of the Carmelite 
were already to be recognized in her. 

Elizabeth of the Trinity set forth joyously on her 
holy career. She was delighted with everything, 
above all with her name, which gave the characteristic 
of her special drawing towards God. In order to 
correspond to it, she entered into the profound 
recollection which in the end absorbed her entirely 
in her "Three." 

We were struck by this on seeing her at her first 
* Ecclus. 1. 9. 



community duty in the refectory. After having 
finished her meal, she sat with closed eyes, her hands 
folded beneath her little cape, her whole attitude 
being that of one in deep prayer rather than of mere 
recollection. Indeed, to have opened her eyes she 
would have needed no slight effort. 

A young nun who was serving, struck by such 
religious demeanour and entire oblivion of all 
around her in a postulant so soon after her entrance, 
said to herself : " It is too good to last ; no one could 
be so mortified on the very first day !" Yet to the 
last no one ever saw her raise her eyes needlessly 
during a conventual duty ; she was always retired and 
absorbed in God. Elizabeth was told that she might, 
and should take notice of what was around her. 
She obeyed, but with a certain amount of constraint 
which showed that she was not distracted from the 
thought of her Divine Master. " In the garden, in 
the cloisters indeed, everywhere," she said, " He is 
so truly present that it seems as if we were only 
separated by a thin veil, and He were on the point 
of appearing." 

She wrote more playfully, but to the same effect, 
to her family : " As you like details, I will tell you 
something very interesting. We have washed our 
clothes. I turned my dress up for the occasion, 
covered myself entirely with a large apron, and 
put on a pair of clogs to complete my costume. I 
went down to the wash-house where every one was 
rubbing away with all her might, and I tried to do 
the same. I splashed and soaked myself finely, but 
never mind I was delighted with it ! Everything 
at Carmel is delightful ! We find the good God at 
the wash just the same as at prayer ; there is nothing 


but Him everywhere ; we breathe Him and see Him. 
The prospect widens before me every day." 

She wrote to the priest who had been the confidant 
of her great secrets for the last fifteen years, and who 
now consoles her mother: " I thank you with all my 
heart for your kindness to dear mamma ; I am not 
surprised at what she tells me. You know how 
grateful I am to you ; no day passes that I do not 
pray for you. I feel that all the treasures of the soul 
of Christ belong to me, so that I am infinitely rich. 
How overjoyed I am at drawing from this source 
for those 1 love and who have helped me ! 

" How good the good God is ! I cannot express 
my happiness, which I realize better every day. There 
is nothing here but Him ; He is all ; He suffices for 
all. I like the hour of the great silence best the 
time at which I am now writing to you. Picture me 
to yourself in the little cell of which I am so fond 
the tiny sanctuary kept for Him and me alone. You 
can imagine what happy hours I spend there with 
Him I love. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed on 
Sundays in a little small oratory in the house. When 
I open the door and look at the Divine Prisoner 
Who has made me His captive in Carmel, I almost 
feel as though I were opening the door of heaven. 
There I lay before Jesus all those who dwell in my 
heart, and I find them again near Him. You see, 
I often think of you, and I know, too, that each 
morning, when you offer the Holy Sacrifice, you 
remember your little Carmelite, who entrusted you 
with her secret such a Jong while ago. I do not 
regret the years I spent in waiting ; such great 
happiness deserves to be bought dearly. Oh ! how 
good the good God is ! . . . 


" I am glad that I live in the days of persecution. 
How holy we ought to be ! Pray that I may attain 
to the sanctity for which I long. I want to love as 
the saints and martyrs loved." 

Elizabeth writes to her mother : 

" To-morrow is the Feast of our Lady of the Seven 
Dolours. I thought that it might be called your 
feast too, dearest mamma, so I prayed fervently for 
you, and put your soul into the soul of the Mother of 
Sorrows, asking her to console you. I have a great 
devotion to a statue of the Mater dolorosa that 
stands at the end of our cloister ; I go there every 
evening to speak to her of you. I love the tears of 
our Lady, which I unite to those my poor mother 
sheds when she thinks of her Elizabeth. If only 
you could read my soul, you would learn how 
happy I am at Carmel ; my joy increases every day, 
and is known to God alone. What a wonderful lot 
He has chosen for His poor little child ! If you 
could but see all this for a single instant, you would 
be bound to rejoice, for before I could enter this 
little corner of heaven your fiat was required. I 
thank you again for having given it so bravely. 

" The good God loves you, and your daughter is 
more fond of you than ever." 

She writes to a little friend who would not be 
consoled for her absence, trying to make her under- 
stand the depths of her joy, and reassuring her about 
her health, which had suffered slightly from the trials 
of her last days at home. 

" If you only knew how happy I am, you could not 
possibly cry any more, but would thank God for me. 
You will wonder, perhaps, how I can be so happy 
after having left all those I love to enter the solitude 


that delights me. I possess everything in God, and 
find those I left again with Him. We are not separ- 
ated ; there will never be any grille between our 
hearts, and mine will always be the same. It dilates 
in Carmel, and knows how to love better than 

" The good God has restored my health without 
powders or quinine : I am stronger every day, and 
have a ravenous appetite. They take great care of 
me here ; you need not feel anxious. I sleep more 
soundly on the straw mattress than I ever slept 
before. I did not feel very safe on the first night, 
but expected to roll out on one side or the other 
before morning, but nothing of the sort happened, 
and now that I am used to it, the bed is delightfully 
comfortable. I like everything at Carmel ; the time 
flies, and I feel as if I had always lived in the 

Elizabeth was as gentle and obedient here as she 
had been in the world, and from the very first showed 
a tender charity that revealed Who was the Guest 
Who dwelt in her little " house." 

The nun in the next cell suffered from violent 
headaches, and could not bear the least noise. For 
five years Sister Elizabeth was careful of her slightest 
movements, never seeming to suffer from the extreme 
constraint, for unselfishness had become her second 
nature. She had practised virtue for so long that 
she seemed to require no effort to conquer self, and 
had we not known of her extreme sensitiveness, we 
should have thought her indifferent to the inevitable 
friction of opposite characters.* 

* Perhaps those among our readers who are making a study of 
her soul may be interested in reading the list of questions 


As a postulant, she gave evidence of a spiritual life 
laid on solid foundations. The following letter 
describes her intimacy with God : 

" Life for the Carmelite is communion with God 
from morning till night, and from night till morning. 
How empty our cells and cloisters would be did He 
not fill them! But we see Him in everything, for 
we bear Him within us, and our life is heaven 
anticipated. Prayer is rest and repose ; we come 
quite simply to Him we love, we keep close to Him 
like a babe in its mother's arms, and let our heart 
go out to Him." 

answered by our little sister at recreation in the noviceship a 
week after she entered Carmel. 

" What do you consider the ideal of sanctity ?" " To live by 

" What is the quickest way to attain to it ?" " To become 
little, and to surrender self once for all." 

" Which saint do you prefer ?" " The beloved disciple who 
rested on his Master's heart." 

" Which woman saint do you prefer ?" " Our holy Mother, 
Saint Teresa, because she died of love." 

" What is your chief characteristic ?" " Sensitiveness." 

*' What is your favourite virtue ?" " Purity : ' Blessed are 
the pure in heart, for they shall see God.' " 

" What fault do you most dislike ?" " Any kind of selfishness." 

" Give a definition of prayer." " The union of one who is not 
with the One Who is." 

" What book do you like best ?" " ' The Soul of Christ,' which 
reveals to me all the secrets of the Father Who is in heaven." 

" Do you long greatly for heaven ?" " Sometimes I feel 
homesick for it ; but excepting the vision of it, I possess it in the 
depths of my soul." 

14 What kind of martyrdom would you prefer f " I love them 
all, especially the martyrdom of love." 

"What name wo|M you like to have in heaven ?" "The will 
of God." 

" What is your motto ?" " God in me and I in Him." 


It was evident that her whole time was spent 
in the perpetual communion with God of which she 
speaks. The silence of Carmel was a joy to her, for 
she could fix her thoughts on heaven. " You ask 
me what I am doing," she wrote to a friend. " I 
might answer that a Carmelite only does one thing : 
love and pray. But as she is still on earth, though 
living in heaven, she must, while devoting herself to 
love, do some work in order to accomplish the will 
of Him Who first submitted to labour as an example 
to us. We begin our day with an hour's prayer ; 
then we say the Divine Office, and assist at Mass. 
Vespers are at two o'clock ; mental prayer from five 
to six ; Compline at a quarter to eight ; we pray 
from then until Matins at nine o'clock, and leave 
the choir at a little before eleven to go to rest. We 
have two hours' recreation during the day, and keep 
silence at other times. When I am not employed 
elsewhere, I work in our cell. A straw mattress and 
a small chair are its only furniture, but it is full of 
God, and I pass many happy hours there with my 
Bridegroom. There is something sacred about the 
cell ; it is a private sanctuary for Him and His little 
bride. We are so happy there together! I am silent, 
listening to Him and loving Him, while sewing the 
dear serge that I have so longed to wear." 

The months passed by, and our dear little sister 
was looking forward to wearing the holy habit of the 
Immaculate Virgin "Queen and Glory of Carmel." 
She was particularly fond of our mantle, the symbol 
of purity. When would she approach the altar, 
wrapped in its white folds ? She pondered over it 
indeed, she did more: she questioned St. Teresa her- 
self, and put her cause into the holy Mother's hands. 


During the octave of the great feast of October 1 5 
Elizabeth spent the hour between Compline and 
Matins in prayer before the relic exposed in the 
saint's hermitage. One evening, while praying more 
fervently than ever for the " double spirit " of 
Carmel and the mantle, which was to be for her also 
the sign of special blessing, she was informed, in- 
teriorly, that it would be given her on the approach- 
ing Feast of the Immaculate Conception. 

On the next day she told the Mother Prioress, 
who, to humble her, replied that before thinking of 
wearing the habit of an Order, its spirit and virtues 
must be acquired. Sister Elizabeth accepted the 
little trial with her usual calm, and went away as 
sweet and peaceful as she was before. 

A month later Chapter met, and considered the 
question of her clothing. The Mother Prioress told 
her that she would have to make her petition on 
that very day, and bade her pray a great deal, adding: 
" I do not know what the decision of the good God 
and the community will be, but you must prepare 
yourself to receive the answer peacefully, whatever 
it may be. You have still much to work at, so 
perhaps you will be put off." " Yes, Mother," she 
replied, " I am very imperfect ; but I think the good 
God will grant me this grace, and how can my sisters 
refuse it me ? They must love me, for I am so fond 
of them !" 

Every voice and heart was in favour of the young 
sister for whom the nuns already felt such warm 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity, overwhelmed with 
gratitude, had recourse for her preparation to Him 
Who she knew loved her deeply. The Divine 


Master responded to her appeal, operating such great 
things within her soul that she sometimes seemed 
quite faint. " I can no longer bear the burden of 
these graces," she said. Her longing for heaven 
became more ardent. Like the bride in the Canticles, 
she languished while waiting for the Vision, the 
eternal union ; her holy languor alone could check 
her constant presentiment of a speedy end to her 
time of waiting and her hopes of suffering greatly 
for God. 

We need only look into the "Spiritual Canticle" of 
our Father, St. John of the Cross, to find the history 
of Elizabeth's soul : " The wise man saith that the 
soul that seeketh Him as a treasure shall find Him. 
God grants a certain spiritual presence of Himself 
to the fervent prayers of the loving soul which seeks 
Him more earnestly than treasure, seeing that it has 
abandoned all things, even itself, for His sake. In 
that presence He shows certain profound glimpses 
of His Divinity and beauty, whereby He still increases 
the soul's anxious desire to behold Him. For as 
men throw water on the coals of the forge to cause 
intenser heat, so our Lord in His dealings with 
certain souls, in the intermission of their love, makes 
some revelations of His Majesty, to quicken their 
fervour, and to prepare them more and more for 
those graces which He will give them afterwards. 
Thus the soul, in that obscure presence of God, 
beholding and feeling the supreme good and beauty 
hidden there, is dying of desire of the vision."* 

Thus God Himself prepared Sister Elizabeth of 
the Trinity, for the interior transformation of which 
her clothing was but the symbol. 

* "A Spiritual Canticle," by St. John of the Cross, stanza x., 
note. Lewis. Baker, 1909. 


When the date of the ceremony was discussed, her 
obedience and self-surrender prevented her expressing 
the desire she still cherished that it might be on the 
day for which she secretly hoped. The wishes of 
her family and the preacher's engagements both 
seemed to oppose the fulfilment of St. Teresa's 
promise y and the clothing was fixed for December 27, 
the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. However, 
circumstances made it necessary to choose an earlier 
day, and Sister Elizabeth wrote to Carcassonne : 
" Mary will clothe me with the habit of Carmel on 
the Feast of the Immaculate Conception ; I am to 
prepare for my betrothals by a retreat of three days. 
When I think about it, I feel as if I were no longer 
in this world. Pray hard that your little Carmelite 
may give and surrender herself completely, and may 
gladden the heart of her Divine Master !" 

Her ardent longings were gratified on December 8, 
1901. The day was Sunday! Elizabeth, whose 
devotion to the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity was 
daily becoming deeper, was delighted at the coin- 
cidence ; the Immaculate Virgin presented her as a 
sacrifice of praise to the glory of the Three Divine 
Persons. The young girl's joy was so great that she 
was unconscious of what she was doing and what was 
going on around her. The Prioress noticed it on 
meeting her at the enclosure door, and wondered how 
the ceremony would pass off. The Divine Master 
rewarded the generous novice for the gift of her heart 
by filling it with an overwhelming love. 

The first stage of her religious life ends here. 
Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity had tasted the sweet- 
ness and joys of Thabor, but she was not to stay 
there. Like the Apostles and saints, she was called 


to follow our Saviour in the anguish of His Agony, 
in the sufferings of Calvary. Her love knew no 
limits, and God desired that there should be no limit 
to the favours He had begun to bestow on her. The 
soul, fainting beneath "the burden of His grace," 
must be dilated ; a deeper bed must be made for 
the flood of grace which was already overflowing. 
This Divine work was to be wrought by suffering. 



To face page 78. 



" The dark night " The reward of trial The secret of happi- 
ness The profession retreat The bride of Christ Sanctity 
Heaven within the soul. 

AFTER the brightness of her life as a postulant, Eliza- 
beth was plunged into a dark : gloom, to which were 
soon added anxieties, spiritual distress, and strange 
fancies of the imagination, such as those described 
by St. John of the Cross in the fifteenth stanza 
of his "Spiritual Canticle": "The devil, beholding 
this prosperity of the soul, and in his great malice 
envying all the good he sees in it, now uses all his 
power, and has recourse to all his devices, in order to 
thwart it, if possible, even in the smallest degree. 
He thinks it of more consequence to keep back the 
soul, even for an instant, from this abundance, bliss, 
and delight, than to make others fall into many and 
mortal sins." 

The sufferings of the poor child, who had been 
established until now in a peace that seemed as if it 
could never fail, cannot be described. In her candour 
and simplicity she spoke of feelings which were the 
more humiliating because it seemed as if a word 
ought to have got rid of them, and the more painful 



on account of their contrast, not only with her life of 
prayer, but with anything she had ever known 

The faith and blind obedience which led her to 
open her mind to her Prioress also brought her 
strength and peace, while at the same time seconding 
the Divine work that God was doing in her soul by 
these trials. 

After having suffered in this way for six months, 
the poor novice hoped to obtain relief in a retreat to 

be given in October by the Reverend Father V , 

then in exile at some distance from Dijon. However, 
her sufferings only increased, for she found it im- 
possible to take any pleasure in what had formerly 
delighted her, but which now seemed only to thicken 
the darkness of her night, so that the eight days were 
a real torture to her. Her soul in its desolation 
drank deeply of the bitter cup of suffering and 
humiliation without exhausting it. Three months 
more were to pass before the work of love would be 

Although Elizabeth was well suited to our life, and 
had fully entered into it, we do not claim that she 
was already perfect. Not only had she to advance, 
but to undergo the transformation which we saw 
take place in her during the year of trial. She was 
already thoroughly Christian, but had to become such 
a Carmelite as our seraphic Mother wished her 
daughters to be. 

It was well for her, humble and modest as she was, 
to realize by experience the weaknesses of humanity. 
Nature had rebelled at times in the past ; there were 
other revolts of which she knew nothing. Having 
conquered all her difficulties by the effort of her will 


and graces of prayer, she was astonished at dis- 
covering sometimes that there were other states less 
free from temptation, and she might, unknowingly, 
have felt some secret self-complacency, or have 
judged others harshly. She had, indeed, been warned 
against such subtle self-love, but " What doth he 
know that hath not been tried ?"* 

Schooled by trial, Sister Elizabeth would learn 
more quickly that self-knowledge which is both the 
foundation and the summit of humility. God made 
use of temptation to show her the abyss of her own 
nothingness, and to insure that glory would be 
ascribed to Him alone for the graces which He in- 
tended to bestow upon her soul. Thus, at times, 
by His permission, "the devil has recourse to the 
sensual appetites . . . stirs up many movements in 
the sensitive part of the soul, and causes other vexa- 
tions, spiritual as well as sensual, from which the 
soul is unable to deliver itself until our Lord shall 
send His angel, as it is written : ' The angel of the 
Lord shall encamp round about them that fear Him 
and shall deliver them.' "t 

Indeed, the Divine messenger brought some relief 
from this painful state, "establishing peace, both in 
the spiritual and sensitive parts of the soul "| for 
the time of prayer generally brought the poor novice 
a truce from struggle, although she received no con- 
solations. However, her simple form of prayer, 
which the increase of her faith had rendered higher 
than before, kept her like a little child at rest within 
the arms of Him Whom she loved without feeling 

* Ecclus. xxxiv. 9. 

t " Spiritual Canticle" of St. John of the Cross, stanza xv., note. 

I Ibid. 


His presence, in Whom she believed bJindiy, and in 
Whose love she trusted, though she felt nothing but 
the rigour of His Divine jealousy. 

Her efforts to keep recollected during the day in 
spite of the tumult of her imagination and feelings 
helped her in her troubles, and kept the same aims 
and objects before her, so that no one around her 
suspected what she was suffering. Her letters of 
that time show that she rested on the same foundation, 
enlightened by faith, developed by the darkness of 
her soul. 

During August she celebrated with gratitude the 
anniversary of her admission into Carmel. " How 
quickly the time passes in Him ! A year ago He 
brought me into the sacred ark, and now, as my 
Father St. John of the Cross says in his ' Canticle' : 

"*. . . the turtle dove 

Hath found its longed-for mate 
Upon the verdant river banks.' 

" Yes ! I have found Him Whom my soul loves, 
* the one thing necessary,' which no one can take 
from me ! Oh 1 how good, how beautiful He is ! 
I want to live in perfect silence and adoration so that 
I may penetrate deeper and deeper into Him ; to be 
so filled with Him that I can give Him, through 
prayer, to poor souls ignorant of the gift of God. 

" I know that you pray for me every day at Holy 
Mass. Put me into the chalice, so that my soul, 
bathed in the blood of my Christ for which I thirst, 
may become so pure and transparent that the Blessed 
Trinity may be reflected in it as in a crystal. The 
Three Persons delight to contemplate their own 
beauty within a soul : it attracts Them to bestow still 


more on it, to fill it more completely, to complete the 
great mystery of love and unity. Ask God to make 
me live my Carmelite life in all its fulness as the 
betrothed of Christ, which means so close a union. 
Why has He loved me so much? I feel how petty 
and full of misery I am, yet I love Him, and I do 
nothing else. I love Him with His own love; it is 
a double current between c Him Who is and her 
who is not !' ' 

" The double current," or, rather, the " two 
abysses," as St. Catherine of Siena calls them, had 
been revealed to Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity 
in her year of severe probation, so that she seemed 
firmly rooted in humility. Her faith and will had 
both been strengthened by the trial, and, being 
perfected by suffering, served as counterpoise to a 
tenderness which might have become over-sensitive- 
ness. Her advice later on to a person undergoing 
interior trials shows us what had been her own 
conduct during this painful period. 

" I think that the secret of peace and happiness 
lies in forgetfulness and disregard of self, which does 
not mean that we do not feel our miseries of body 
and mind. Since you allow me to speak to you as 
a sister, I tell you frankly that I think the good God 
asks of you perfect abandonment and trust. When 
you suffer from the feeling of a terrible void, believe 
that He is preparing for His indwelling in your 
soul fresh capacities which are to be, to a certain 
extent, infinite like Himself. Try to be joyful, as 
far as depends on you, under the hand that crucifies 
you ; or, rather, look upon each suffering as a proof 
of love straight from the good God, in order to 
unite you to Him. Do not be discouraged when 


your soul is oppressed and wearied by the burden of 
your body, but have recourse by faith and love to 
Him Who said : c Come unto Me . . . and I will 
refresh you.'* Never let yourself be depressed by 
the thought of your wretchedness. The great 
St. Paul said : * Where sin abounded, grace did 
more abound.'f So it seems to me that the 
weakest, even the most sinful person has the 
greatest right to hope. By forgetting self and cast- 
ing herself into the arms of God, she glorifies Him 
more than by any self-examination and self-reproach, 
which keep her attention fixed on her own defects 
though she possesses a Saviour within her Who is 
always willing to purify her. 

" Do you remember those beautiful words of Jesus 
to His Father : * Thou hast given Him power over 
all flesh that He may give eternal life to all whom 
Thou hast given Him ?'| That is what He wants 
to do in us. He wishes you to go out of self, to 
give up all that preoccupies you, in order to retire 
into the solitude He has chosen as His dwelling- 
place in the depths of your heart He is always 
there, although you do not realize it. He is waiting 
for you, and wishes to establish with you a wonder- 
ful intercourse, admirabik commercium as the Liturgy 
terms it, the intercourse of bride and Bridegroom. 
By His continual contact with you He will free you 
from your weakness and your faults and from all 
that troubles you. Nothing ought to prevent our 
going to Him. 

"Never mind whether you are fervent or dis- 
couraged : we pass from one state to the other during 
our earthly exile. You must believe that He never 
* St. Matt. xi. 28. t Rom. v. 20. I St. John xvii. 2. 


changes ; that in His care for you He is always bent 
towards you, longing to bear you away and establish 
you within Himself. If in spite of all your efforts 
you are overcome with sadness, unite your agony to 
that of the Divine Master in the Garden of Olives, 
when He said to His Father : ' If it be possible, let 
this chalice pass from Me.'* Perhaps you will think 
it difficult to forget self. Do not be anxious about 
that ; it is extremely simple. I will tell you my 
secret : think of God Who dwells within you, 
Whose temple you are. St. Paul tells us so, and 
we can believe him. By degrees the soul becomes 
accustomed to live in His blessed company, realizing 
that it bears within it a little heaven in which the 
God of love has made His home. Henceforth the 
spirit breathes a divine atmosphere indeed, the 
body alone seems on earth, the soul being behind 
the veil with Him Who is unchangeable. 

" Do not tell me that such a thing is not for you, 
that you are too miserable a creature, for that is all 
the more reason why you should go to your Saviour. 
We shall never be purified by looking at our own 
misery, but by gazing on Him Who is purity and 
holiness itself. 

" When you feel very unhappy, think to yourself 
that the Divine Sculptor is using the chisel to 
beautify His work, and remain peacefully under the 
hand that shapes you. After St. Paul had been 
ravished to the third heaven, he felt his own infirmity 
and complained to God, Who answered : * My grace 
is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in 
infirmity. 'f Is not that consoling ? Then take 
courage ! I entrust you to the care of a little 
* St. Matt. xxvi. 39. t 2 Cor. xii. 9. 


Carmelite nun of Lisieux, who died at the age of 
twenty-four in the odour of sanctity ; her name is 
Teresa of the Infant Jesus.* Her special grace is to 
dilate souls, to inspire them with love, confidence, 
and self-surrender. She says that she found happi- 
ness when she began to forget self. Will you join 
me in praying to her every day for the wisdom that 
makes men saints, and brings the soul full peace and 

The moral strength gained by the novice had a 
favourable effect on her health. Her constitution, 
which had suffered slightly at first, was re-established 
by her peace of mind, and adapted itself better every 
day to the observance of our austere Rule. Her 
soul influenced her body, and as this seemed likely 
to be permanent our little sister was admitted by 
the Chapter to holy profession. She was over- 
whelmed with joy at the prospect of the final con- 
secration to the Spouse of virgins. 

On the evening of December 25, 1902, she wrote: 
" The Infant God has bestowed a great joy on me : 
on this happy Feast of His Nativity He has told me 
that He is about to become my Bridegroom. On 
the Feast of the Epiphany He will make me His 
queen. . . . uniting me to Himself by my pro- 

In a letter to Canon A she says : " The 

Spouse has called me, and on January 1 1, a feast full 
of illumination and praise, I shall pronounce the 
vows which will unite me to our Lord for ever. 

* In consequence of the wishes of those who have read 
" 1'Histoire d'une Ame," and of the signal favours obtained by 
her intercession, the cause of beatification of this nun has been 
brought before the Church. 


You who have known me from childhood, and who 
have been my confidant from the first, will under- 
stand what joy fills my soul. I asked the prayers 
of my dear community to-night at recreation, and 
shall begin my ten days' retreat to-morrow. The 
whole thing seems to me a dream ; I have longed 
for it so intensely. Will you give me a special 
intention every morning at Holy Mass for my 
preparation ? I feel encompassed by the mystery of 
Divine charity, and on looking back I see how my 
soul has been pursued by it Oh ! what love ! I feel 
overwhelmed by it, and adore in silence ! 

" On that morning of the Octave of the Epiphany, 
the supreme day of my life although the good 
Master has bestowed on me days so divine that they 
were a Paradise on that day, when all my desires 
will be fulfilled and I shall become * the bride of 
Christ/ will you, dear Canon, offer the Holy Sacrifice 
for your Carmelite and then give her to God, so 
that she may be entirely possessed by Him, and may 
be able to say with St. Paul : * I live, now not I ; 
but Christ liveth in me.'* 

" Need I tell you what favour I shall ask for you ? 
You know my heart ! I leave you to enter perfect 
silence with the Bridegroom." 

Though this retreat began with joy, yet her 
former torments recurred so persistently that the 
poor novice was overcome with anguish when the 
eve of the great day arrived ; however, during 
the afternoon she was comforted by an interview 
with a prudent and enlightened religious. 

Next morning, while she mounted the stairs lead- 
ing to the Chapter-room, her mind was filled with 
* Gal. ii. 20. 


the thought of immolation described in the Capitulum 
for the Vespers of the day : " I beseech you there- 
fore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present 
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto 
God, your reasonable service."* It was thus that 
she pronounced the holy vows of poverty, chastity, 
and obedience, which made her the consecrated bride 
of Christ. 

What feast could have been more suitable to the 
mystic nuptials of this young girl, on whom the 
" glory of the Lord " had shone ? Beckoned by 
Divine light, she, too, in spite of the momentary 
eclipse of the star, had persevered bravely in her 
search for our Lord. She had opened her treasures 
and offered Him the gold of a pure heart, the incense 
of a life devoted to prayer, and the myrrh of the 
sacrifice of all things, including herself. 

Holy Church also celebrated, on that Sunday of 
the Epiphany Octave, the manifestation of the 
Blessed Trinity at the Baptism of Christ. Sister 
Elizabeth, whose profession united her by a special 
bond to the Three Divine Persons, had come to 
Carmel in order to listen to Him in Whom the 
Father finds all His pleasure. And we read in the 
Gradual : " Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, 
Who alone hath done great wonders from the be- 
ginning. Let the mountains receive peace for thy 
people. Alleluia! Alleluia! . . ." The King of 
Peace responded to the unstinted gift of the generous 
girl, and ended her long period of trial, so that she 
overflowed with gratitude. 

" How can I describe my joy," she wrote a few 
days later, "when, as 1 looked at the crucifix given 

* Rom. xii. I. 


me after my profession and placed by our Reverend 
Mother Prioress as a seal upon my heart, I could say to 
myself : { Now He is all mine and I am His, all His ; 
He is my all !' Now there is only one thing I want : 
to love Him to love Him every moment ; * to be 
jealous of His honour, like a true bride;' to offer 
Him a home, a shelter in my heart, there to make 
Him forget, by my love, all the abominable sins 
committed by the wicked." 

In another letter she says : " My joy is deep and 
divine, a joy that cannot be expressed. Thank 
God for me, my lot is so sublime to pass my 
whole life in silence, adoration, heart to heart with 
my Divine Bridegroom ! Beg Him to make me 
faithful, to fulfil all His designs for my soul, to 
accomplish all His will." 

She took the veil on January 21, a day sacred to 
the virgin Agnes and her glorious immolation, the 
twin attractions of a soul which combined the two 
virtues characteristic of Christianity : innocence and 

During evening recreation Sister Elizabeth gave 
vent to her joy and gratitude in a poem begin- 
ning with the lines : 

" Henceforth in secrecy profound I dwell ; 

In life, in death, buried within my Lord. 
Grant me to sink into Thine endless peace ! 
I live but in Thy love, O Word adored !" 

The verses, like the following lines addressed to 
the Reverend Mother Prioress of Paray-le-Monial, 
contain the characteristics of her short, but well-filled 
religious life : 

"My dear Mother, offer a few of your prayers 
for the little * House of God,' that it may be com- 


pletely filled by the Three.' I have entered into 
the soul of my Christ, where I am about to spend 
my Lent. Ask Him to grant that I may live no 
more, but that He may live in me ; that my union 
with Him may be closer every day, that I may fix 
my gaze upon the great Vision. I think that is the 
secret of sanctity, and it is so simple. Only to think 
that we have our heaven within us, the heaven for 
which I sometimes feel so homesick ! What joy 
when the veil is drawn aside at last and we are face 
to face with Him Whom alone we love ! Meanwhile 
I live in love, I plunge into it, and lose myself ; it is 
infinite, the infinity for which my soul is thirsting." 

Sister Elizabeth was faithful to her resolutions and 
rapidly attained the perfection to which the Divine 
Master called her, for she had discovered the secret 
of sanctity. The excess of the charity of God had 
manifested itself to her, and she dwelt in this light 
which would never again be darkened. " My life 
can be summed up in one word," she said, " it might 
be inscribed upon every moment of my time. It was 
St. Paul's life, too : * for His exceeding charity.' * 
Whatever happens to me is a message or an assurance 
of the exceeding love of God ; I cannot live my life 
apart from that. 

" I believe that to reach the ideal life of the soul 
we must live in the supernatural, must realize that 
God dwells within the depths of our soul, and do all 
things with Him ; then nothing can be trivial, how- 
ever commonplace in itself, for we do not live in, 
but above, such things. A supernatural soul does 
not deal with secondary causes, but solely with God. 

* "God ... for His exceeding charity wherewith He loved 
us " (Eph. ii. 4). 


How this simplifies our view of life ! It resembles 
the existence of the blessed spirits, and the soul is 
freed from self and from all else. All things are 
comprised in the one, and in the one thing necessary 
of which the Divine Master spoke to Magdalen. 
We become really great and free, for our will 'is 
enclosed in the will of God,' as a mystic writer says." 

Elizabeth surrendered herself entirely. She made 
this " ideal life " her own, and we saw her daily given 
to it more completely until she passed from the 
darkness of faith to the regions of peace, of light, 
and of love, where God is seen face to face for all 

She was able to declare in one of her letters : " I 
am beginning my heaven already, though sometimes 
I should like to be in the other world, that I might 
see and love Him, and lose myself for ever in His 
infinitude. Your heart is passionately affectionate. 
Can you not understand what it is to love One Who 
has so deeply loved us ?" 

During the summer of 1903 she wrote to the 
confidant of her childhood : 

" How many things have happened since my last 
letter ! Holy Church has said to me her Veni sponsa 
Christi. She has consecrated me, and now all is 
over, or rather, has begun, for profession is only 
daybreak, and my life as a bride seems to me more 
beautiful, resplendent, and full of peace and love 
every day. 

" During the night preceding the great day, while 
watching in the church for the coming of the Bride- 
groom, I realized that heaven was beginning for me 
on earth already a heaven in my faith, my suffering, 
my immolation for Him I love. ... I want to 


love Him deeply, like my seraphic Mother, to love 
Him even unto death. My one ambition is to be 
Love's victim. ... A life of love is so easy in Carmel. 
The Rule tells us every instant, from morning 
till night, what is the will of the good God. How 
I love the Rule which shows me the way in which 
He wishes me to become a saint ! I do not know 
whether I shall have the joy of giving my Spouse the 
testimony of blood, but if I follow the Carmelite 
observance fully, I shall at least have the satisfaction 
of spending myself for Him, and for Him alone. 
Then what does it matter how He wishes me to 
employ myselfj since He is always with me ? Prayer 
and our interchange of love never cease. I feel so 
distinctly that He dwells in my soul. I have only 
to recollect myself to find Him within, which is the 
source of all my happiness. He has put into my 
heart a thirst for what is infinite, and a longing to 
love which He alone can satisfy. I go to Him like 
a little child to its mother, that He may give me 
what 1 long for, and take possession of me. I think 
we ought to behave with great simplicity towards 
the good God. 

" Will you come some day and give your blessing 
to your little Carmelite, and join her here in thank- 
ing Him for His * exceeding love ' ? I can no 
longer describe my joy. Listen to the hymn of my 
heart for God and for you. Wash me in the Blood 
of the Spouse at Holy Mass, for is not He the 
purity of the bride ? and she is thirsting for it." 


A life of faith The teaching of St. Paul Laudem gloria The 
spirit of praise perfects the virtues Second portress The 
guardian angel A penitential spirit Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity in community life. 

SISTER ELIZABETH had regained her former peace, 
but interior sweetness was not to be her ordinary state. 
Now that trials had developed her soul, she was to 
live by faith. If the Divine Master said to her, as 
to Magdalen, " Touch Me not !"* it was because He 
meant to introduce her into that hidden school, far 
removed from the senses, wherein the Word makes 
Himself heard ; that obscurity in which it is made 
evident to the soul that God gives and unites Himself 
to it. t 

It was then that she made acquaintance with the 
writings of St. Paul, who henceforth became her 
spiritual guide. Taught by him, she strove to under- 
stand " the breadth and length and height and 
depth " of the Mystery hidden in God before time 
began ; " the charity of Christ which surpasseth all 
knowledge," that she might " be filled unto all the 
fulness of God. "| 

* St. John xx. 17. 

t St. Augustine, " DCS Etats d'oraison de Bossuet," chap. xxiv. 

\ Eph. iii. 1 8, 19. 



The most beautiful texts of the great Apostle 
confirmed the characteristic tendencies of her con- 
templative soul. With the penetration belonging 
to the pure in heart, she discovered their depth 
of meaning and assimilated their solid teaching 
which fortified and nourished her continual 
prayer. * 

One day, when they were discussing the " new 
name " of which the Apocalypse speaks as being that 
of the elect, Sister Elizabeth said that she had found 
hers in St. Paul. The Apostle writes, she con- 
tinued, that we have been " predestinated according 
to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things 
according to the counsel of His will. That we may 
be unto the praise of His glory." f 

" I have found my vocation there," she declared. 
" I am to be t the praise of His glory ' eternally. I 
wish to be laudem gloria here on earth. " 

* Hitherto her daily readings in the New Testament had 
brought her comparatively little light. . . . She made it less from 
inclination than from obedience ; but now the sense of the Holy 
Scriptures was really given her, as can be seen in the lucid 
explanations, particularly on St. Paul, with which her letters teem. 
Her correspondence, visits to the parlour, poems, confidential 
chats, are henceforth full of the words of St. Paul, whilst her own 
delightful comments on them were the joy and stimulus of her 
companions in the noviceship. 

t Eph. i. 12. 

\ This name, by which Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity loved 
to call herself, because she was inwardly inspired to earn a right 
to do so, needs some explanation, and even some defence. She 
discovered it in the writings of St. Paul, who twice says in his 
Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. i. 6, 12) that we are predesti- 
nated unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ for 
" the praise of the glory of God " in laudem gloriae ipsius. Our 
life here below and our glory in heaven may be termed " praise 
of the Divine glory," or, more briefly, " the praise of glory." And 


A few notes drawn up for her sister show how she 
intended to deserve the title. " How can we fulfil 
this great dream of the heart of our God, this 
immutable desire regarding our souls in a word, 
how can we respond to our vocation and become a 
perfect ' praise of the glory ' of the most Blessed 
Trinity ? In heaven, every soul is a praise of the 
glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, 
because each soul is grafted unchangeably in pure 
love, and lives no longer its own life, but the life of 
God. Then, as St. Paul says, it knows Him as it is 
known by Him. 

" The * praise of glory ' is a soul that dwells in 
God, with the pure, disinterested love which does not 
seek self in the sweetness of His love ; a soul that 
loves Him above all His gifts, and would have loved 
Him as much had it received nothing, which wishes 
well to the object of its tenderness. But how can 
we wish well to God, except by accomplishing His 
will, since this will ordains all things for His greater 
glory ? Such a soul should surrender itself fully, 

as it is lawful for a name common to many to become proper to 
a soul which has earned such a title by its special zeal, and, above 
all, when earned by a sole or supreme preoccupation, Sister 
Elizabeth of the Trinity appropriated this name belonging to all 
the elect as her special device, and as expressing most fully what 
she wished to be. Such an ambition was worthy of one whose 
heart was wholly given to God. " However, some apology may 
be required for the young nun who cared little for the niceties of 
the Latin tongue. In her impulsive fervour she never noticed 
that she was expressing herself in bad grammar. She took 
St. Paul's term as it stands, using it like a French noun which is 
not declined, when laudem can only be used in the accusative. 
Happy the souls who have only faults of grammar to repent of !" 
, S.J. 


blindly, to this will so that it cannot possibly wish 
anything but what God wishes. 

" The ' praise of glory ' is a silent soul, a lyre 
beneath the touch of the Holy Spirit from which 
He can draw divine harmonies. Knowing that 
suffering is a chord that emits still more ex- 
quisite tones, this soul rejoices at giving it forth, 
that it may impress the heart of its God more 

" The ' praise of glory ' is a soul that contemplates 
God in faith and in simplicity ; it reflects His whole 
being, and is a fathomless abyss into which He can 
flow and outpour Himself ; a crystal through which 
He can shine and view His own perfections and 
splendour. A soul which thus permits the Divine 
Being to satisfy within it His craving, to communicate 
all He is and has, is truly the * praise of glory ' 
of all His gifts. 

" Finally, the * praise of glory/ is one who is always 
giving thanks, whose acts, movements, thoughts, 
aspirations, while more deeply establishing her in 
love, are like an echo of the eternal Sanctus in the 
heaven of glory. The blessed rest not day or night, 
saying, * Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. . . . 
and, falling down, adore Him that liveth for ever and 
ever.'* The * praise of glory ' begins now, within 
the heaven of her soul, the task that will be hers for 
all eternity. Her chant is uninterrupted ; she acts 
beneath the influence of the Holy Ghost, although 
she may sometimes be unconscious of it, for human 
weakness prevents souls keeping their attention fixed 
on God without distractions. She sings and adores 
perpetually, and has, so to speak, gone out from self 
* Apoc. iv. 8, 10. 


and become absorbed in praise and love, in her 
passion for the glory of her God. 

" Let us, in the heaven of our soul, be a homage 
of glory to the Blessed Trinity. One day the 
veil will be withdrawn, and we shall be brought 
into the eternal courts ; there we shall sing 
in the bosom of infinite Love, and God will 
give us the * new name ' promised to him that 
overcometh. What will that name be? Laudem 
Gloria !" 

Such was indeed the inner life of this chosen soul, 
in which faith worked by fervent charity. During 
prayer and the Divine Office she was evidently 
absorbed in adoration, and seemed already in Paradise, 
joining with the blessed spirits in their praise of the 
thrice-holy God. 

Sister Elizabeth's zeal for the psalmody and cere- 
monies of the Church did not prevent her making 
rather frequent mistakes, which we attributed to her 
mind being absorbed in her devotion. It has been 
related of several of the saints that when their deep 
contemplation distracted their attention from all 
outward things, their guardian angels warned them 
of their part in the ceremonies going on. This 
favour was not granted to our little sister, but she 
must have given glory to God by her minute attention 
in preparing herself as well as in the sincere humility 
she showed in reparation. 

The spirit of praise perfected all her virtues by 
uniting her to the Divine Example, Whom she 
strove to represent in the sight of the Father. 

The first utterance of the Word on His entering the 
world, " Behold, 1 come to do Thy will, O God,"* 

* Hcb. x. 9. 


ought to be as the very pulse of the bride, and 
this will of Him Who had sent her should be at 
once her food and the sword that immolates her. 
This was the opinion of Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity, and from this point of view our customs 
in the most trivial matters were no less dear to her 
than the Rule itself and her Superior's orders. " I 
have purchased Thy testimonies for an inheritance for 
ever: because they are the joy of my heart."* By 
her constant fidelity to these exterior or interior 
"ordinances," the bride will bear witness to the 
Truth, and can say : " He that sent Me is with Me, 
and He hath not left Me alone : for I do always the 
things that please Him. ""I" 

She never failed to give this testimony fully. 
Some instances will give an idea of the perfection 
of her obedience. She had charge of the noviceship, 
and was told to close the shutters in the evening. 
One night she forgot to do so, and suddenly 
remembered it after Matins, just as she was going to 
sleep. She rose at once, and went down in the dark 
across the cloister to perform her task. We find 
such examples in the lives of the saints, such as that 
of our Father St. John of the Cross getting up one 
night because he remembered to have left in his 
scapular one more pin than a simple tradition allowed, 
and putting it outside the door of his cell. 

For some special reason Sister Elizabeth was dis- 
pensed from sitting on the floor during prayer and 
allowed to use her stall without leaning on it. She 
always sat in the way that gave her the least possible 
comfort. Two years later she again received the 
same dispensation, on account, now, of her illness. 

* Ps. cxviii. in. t St. John viii. 29. 


However, she kept strictly to the same practice, so 
that a sister who watched her never saw her lean on 
her stall, however slightly, nor did she ever ask for 
permission to do so. She always obeyed to the 
letter without putting any personal interpretation on 
the order, as the following instance shows : 

She was told, for a time, to take a short walk 
every day, but later on she had a painful complaint in 
her foot, so that she was dispensed from all duties 
that required her to walk. The Prioress met her 
one day in the garden, limping along and apparently 
suffering greatly. " What are you doing here?" the 
Superior asked. u 1 am taking a walk, Mother, as 
you told me." We could give many other such 
instances of the perfect obedience of one who said, 
a few days before her death : " The will of our 
Mother has been the law of my life ; when she had 
spoken, peace filled my soul." 

Her humility was just as admirable. "The 
inability to pray which cost me so much suffering is 
a blessing to me now," she said. " It seems to 
magnify God, and His little ' Praise of Glory ' 
realizes the truth more clearly, and depends more 
upon Him." 

Her humility made it " really sweet to her to feel 
her powerlessness before God," as a devout author 
says, from whom she quoted the words that describe 
herself : " No one can trouble the humble soul, 
which has cast itself into an abyss too deep for anyone 
to follow it." In fact, nothing seemed to disturb 
her ; whatever was said to her, she never excused 
herself, nor did a shadow cross her face. Yet from 
childhood she had struggled daily against a sensitive- 
ness which had been the cause of her greatest 


victories. " In heaven alone will it be known how I 
have suffered during my life," she said before she died. 

She had written at the end of a retreat made in 
the world : " I have taken the same resolutions again 
this year humility and self-renunciation, which 
include everything." Now she reaped the reward 
of her efforts on a point of which she had recognized, 
while very young, the primary importance. 

" If I were asked the secret of happiness," she 
wrote, " I should say self-forgetfulness and continual 
self-denial, which effectually destroy pride. The 
love of God should be strong enough to destroy all 
love for self." 

Our little sister practised it, and we used to admire 
the way in which she continually effaced self that 
others might come forward, although she would 
often have been justified in taking the lead. 

Her patience, the fruit of her humility, was 
inexhaustible, and never seen to fail. Yet how often 
it was tried, particularly in her office of help at the 
turn. Always at the beck and call of the first 
portress, she was especially anxious to smooth away 
the difficulties resulting for the out-sisters from our 
strict enclosure. They frequently had recourse to 
her ungrudging kindness. One day one of them 
asked to be forgiven for disturbing her so often. 
" Oh, don't say anything about it !" answered Sister 
Elizabeth. " I am so glad to be able to help you. 
I want you to forget that you cannot come in and 
fetch what you require." 

She was as good-natured and obliging even during 
the most acute sufferings of her last days, so that we 
were always glad to apply to her in our needs. Her 
smile never vanished, although she was sometimes 


obliged to interrupt her work when very busy, to 
give up an hour's extra prayer, or change her little 
plans. She never seemed to mind so long as her 
self-denial was sanctioned by obedience. 

Naturally of a very loving disposition, Sister 
Elizabeth's affections for those in the convent, as 
well as for her own family, were influenced by super- 
natural motives. The same charity that made her 
help her sisters in her own charming way led her to 
pay special attention to those who would probably 
humiliate her or try her virtue, so that all shared in 
her kindness. 

She was twice given the office of angel * A 
young girl who passed some months in Carmel 
writes to her former Prioress : " I remember my 
entrance into the convent ; my little angel was 
there, and I guessed at once that she was an angel of 
charity. How she enjoyed giving some sort of a 
religious character to my worldly dress ! How well 
she knew how to come to my help, to rectify my 
mistakes ! How sweetly, how numbly, simply, 
and delicately she found an excuse for my faults ! 
She saw to everything and kept constant watch over 
her Tobias. 

" When she showed me how to keep the novice- 
ship in order, she said : * You must prize all this 
sweeping and dusting, for you begin your life as a 
Carmelite in this room.' Her reverence, inspired 
by her spirit of faith, as she told me how to do my 
work, proved that she lived in the presence of God, 
and looked to Him in her most trivial actions. 

* This is the name given to the sister who is charged with 
teaching a postulant the customs of the community of which she 
acquitted herself with tact and discretion. 


"Sometimes I apologized for having made her 
leave the silence she loved so well, but looking at 
me affectionately, she answered : * I am your angel ; 
come to me at once without hesitation ; it is my 
duty to look after you and help you.' 

" How joyful she used to be when she could say : 
* Our Mother will see you to-day.' If her own turn 
was put off for mine, she said : * Your pleasure makes 
me so happy that I am quite willing to sacrifice my 
own. You are going to see our Mother : profit by 
it, for it is sacramental.' 

" On several occasions, when she found me in 
tears, she took me in her arms affectionately, and 
must have gone to tell you, Mother, for you always 
sent for me on those days to set me right and com- 
fort me. I was struck by her goodness, which always 
edified me indeed, I had only to imitate her to 
advance in the love and intimacy of the Divine 

Needless to say, such a soul was irresistibly im- 
pelled to perform penance, absorbed as it was in the 
thought of the " exceeding love " of God. As we 
used to tell her when she was on the point of doing 
something very imprudent, not only had she no 
instinct of self-preservation, but she felt such self- 
contempt that she had to be restrained on that score. 
Elizabeth was unable to practise such severe macera- 
tions as she wished, but her keen insight made her 
the better appreciate the constant sacrifice demanded 
by the Carmelite Rule, as well as the trials sent her 
by Providence, so that she realized the saying of 
St. Paul in its appeal to her faith : " I die daily."* 
It was impossible to guess what she liked or dis- 
* i Gor. xv. 31. 


liked. Dead to self, she bore her weariness, and 
especially her headaches, with no outward sign. She 
preferred an extra hour for prayer to the rest that was 
offered her on their account, saying that was the 
only time when she felt no pain. She was delighted 
at honouring the Crown of Thorns, not by her own 
choice but by the will of her Divine Master. 

Sister Elizabeth had often expressed the wish of 
spending herself in silence. Her apparent good 
health furthered her desire, and we never dreamt of 
our mistake until she entered the infirmary, never to 
leave it. From what she there disclosed, we learnt 
something of the heroism she had practised. 

How bravely she kept to her work, realizing that 
it was part of our penance, and performing it in that 
spirit, rather than from natural inclination, for 
although very skilful with the needle, she found 
some difficulty in combining her very high form ot 
prayer with the industry prompted by her zeal. She 
said that wonders, real little miracles, had occurred 
on this score when, watching against over-eagerness, 
she found her work advance in proportion with the 
intensity of her union with God. 

With her spirit of order and poverty, Sister Elizabeth 
rendered invaluable service in the vestiary.* She had 
a wonderful gift of combining the requirements of an 
office, which was often overwhelmed with work, with 
the higher call that kept her calm and recollected in 
the little heaven of her soul. 

A sister once spoke to her of her difficulty in 
getting rid of wandering thoughts during prayer. 
" To avoid that," answered Sister Elizabeth, " we 

* The ropm used for work by Carmelite nuns. Those who 
make the clothes of the community are termed " vestiers." 


must be very watchful during the day. On two or 
three occasions, when I saw the first vestier very over- 
worked, I hurried over my task and became excited 
about it, but God does not wish that of His brides. 
When I went to Him, try as I might, I could not rise 
above my frippery, ," This is a proof of the care she 
took to keep herself entirely for God. 

The opinions of some of the community complete 
the description of the angelic little nun. 

" Our dear little sister excelled in all the virtues. 
Although so contemplative that one would have 
expected her to be incapable of activity, her zeal was 
unwearied. She was noticeable for her perfect 
calmness, the result of her remarkable energy, for it 
seemed as if her soul were so perfectly possessed by 
the * God of peace ' that she had no need of further 
struggle. And how she shed forth this peace around 

" Although naturally grave, serious, and fond of 
silence, Sister Elizabeth was always sociable in our 
little family festivities. She was particularly fond of 
St. Martha's day.* We used to arrange our plans 
beforehand, but she had a charming way of letting 
others enjoy the success of them. She was especially 
careful that our recollection should not be disturbed, 
so we used to imagine we were at Bethany, serving 
our Lord. She used to think she could invent no 
treat good enough for the sisters, and was delighted 
when she pleased them." 

During the recreation daysf the seniors liked to 

* On that day the novices take the place in the kitchen of our 
lay-sisters, to whom we give a holiday. 

f Days on which the sisters are allowed to visit one another 
in their cells for conversation. 


talk with Elizabeth of the Trinity, for she understood 
the Carmelite vocation in the sense of former times. 
"I was always delighted with her humility," says one 
of them. "Though her prayer was very high, and she 
was far advanced in the spiritual life, she was ever 
ready to learn, and acted as though she knew nothing. 
Although Divinely instructed in the way of prayer, I 
used to see her listen with interest, and apply to 
herself whatever was said, never letting anyone 
suspect that she was far better informed." 

One of her companions in the novitiate says : 
" Our recreations were delightful ! How many times 
she spoke to me of the consuming Fire and the 
simple gaze, whose secrets she knew so well. I do 
not remember her ever being Jess amiable, sweet, 
and unselfish for a single day. 

" Even while she was sweeping the floor, although 
most active over her task, I used to be struck with 
admiration at her serious, recollected expression. 
She seemed never distracted from her incessant 

Let us end by quoting the opinion of one of the 
senior nuns, who cannot be suspected of enthusiasm, 
and whose rigorous observance of the Rule gives 
weight to her judgment : 

" Having heard that no one had ever been able to 
discover any imperfection in Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity, I wished to make sure of the fact, as 1 was 
by no means predisposed in her favour. To my 
mind the polished manners of the world and a great 
facility of expression, joined to a keen intelligence 
and loving nature, might combine to give the 
impression of a perfection of virtue which had not 
yet been tested. Although we saw much of one 


another, when anyone talked to me about her virtues 
I spoke with reservation, and would not admit that 
they were so perfect or so unvarying ; indeed, the 
Mother Sub-Prioress asked me one day whether I 
disliked Sister Elizabeth. * No,' I replied, ' I like 
her very much ; but I shall wait before giving my 
opinion.' 'Well/ she answered, *I can only say 
that I have frequently humiliated her, and have 
always found her sweet and humble.* 

"From that time I studied her still more attentively, 
and was forced to own that I had never discovered 
any imperfection in her. Some people may have 
thought this a rather strong expression to use in the 
* death notice,' but it is the simple truth. 

" Hers was not a perfection of the narrow and 
provoking kind, but was so humble and hidden as 
not to exclude certain faults of weakness or in- 
advertence, although I never saw her give way to 
any natural impulse ; she always appeared to me not 
only faithful, but, I may say, heroic, especially under 
some particularly trying circumstances. 

" My cell was next to hers, and I used to 
hear her get up every morning directly the first 
signal sounded. When she reached the choir, or 
oratory, she at once knelt down, however tired her 
knees might be, or later on, whatever she might be 
suffering. One year we made a challenge of silence. 
She kept it most strictly ; the two or three failures 
she had to note down every week were always caused 
by her kind-heartedness." 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity's relations with 
those in the world bore no less evidence of her inner 
life. Her angelic disposition, zealous above all things 
for the glory of God, was combined with a tact, 


simplicity, and supernatural affection which won the 
confidence of everyone. She appreciated our severe 
laws regarding the parlour, and knew how to curtail 
an interview when she found it difficult to keep the 
conversation within the bounds she had set herself. 
If, however, she was in sympathy with her caller, 
she opened her heart, and her visitors listened spell- 
bound. " It was impossible to come near her 
without being impressed and penetrated with the 
presence of God," says a friend. " One could never 
tire of hearing her speak of the most sublime subjects." 

" Our rare interviews did me the greatest good," 
says another ; " they always led me to love our 
Lord better and to sacrifice and recollect myself 
more. Grace seemed to pass from her through the 
grille which separated us." 

One day a relation, who came from a long dis- 
tance to visit her, was so impressed that she ex- 
claimed impulsively : " Elizabeth, I place myself 
and my children under your protection." She wept 
at parting, and always begged Elizabeth to pray for 
her whenever any important matter was concerned. 

** I talked with the dear young nun on February 27, 
1905," writes a friend of Madame Catez. "I had 
not seen her since she entered Carmel, and I 
found she had become perfect. She was absorbed 
in the love of God, yet said such tender things to 
me, and spoke of her Mother with such outbursts 
of affection, that I cried then, as I do now, when I 
recall the very short time I passed with her." 

Such was Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity in the 
years following her profession ; such were the fruits 
of the long and deep silence in which she listened to 
the divine word, that "efficacious" word which 


worked for the " praise of divine glory," the blessed 
transformation described by her in the following 
lines : 

" Oh ! would that I could say, as did St. Paul, 
That I for love of Him had lost my all. 
For no desire have I of aught below, 
Save that my love each day may deeper grow ! 
To strive to know Him better be my goal 
My Christ, and the Redeemer of my soul ! 
May I so fashioned to His likeness be, 
That men in me my Saviour's image see !" 


Continual prayer The retreat of 1904 Prayer Devotion to 
the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin November z\, 
1904 "The only thing I do is to enter into myself." 

No one will ever know how deep was the spirituality 
of this angelic young nun, who uttered the most 
sublime speeches with the frankness of a child, as 
though they were the most natural remarks to make. 
Absorbed as she was in God, when the time came, 
she could climb her Calvary with the fortitude of a 
martyr ; her heroism then revealed to us how 
genuine had been her prayer, which no pain, how- 
ever intense, could henceforth interrupt. 

" I cannot reveal what He teaches me in the depth 
of my soul," she said. " He shows me all things and 
responds to all my needs." 

At other times the Divine light was eclipsed, but 
Elizabeth, unshaken in faith and hope, remained 
perfectly collected, dwelling on the words of our holy 
Father, which delighted her : " Faith is presence in 
the darkness, possession in obscurity." "During 
the night that obscured her soul she clung to Him 
she loved and for Whom she suffered, following 
Him by the glimmering of the obscure light."* 

* " Vic dc la venerable Marguerite du Saint-Sacremcnt." 


Those experienced in the states in which faith is 
purified and simplified will know that our little 
sister was heroic in keeping assiduously to prayer. 

No one who saw her, calm and peaceful before the 
Eucharistic throne, would have supposed that some- 
times on the Sundays and feast days she passed in the 
oratory, without sparing a moment from her worship 
of the Divine Master, she was being " tempted to 
get up and leave." 

" I often spend all these hours in l the dark 
night,' " she said; " but at my prayer in the evening 
He compensates for it, and still more so next day. 
Then I receive the reward of my acts and silence of 
the day before, so that I would not miss my Com- 
munion on Monday on any account." 

Her first retreat after her profession established 
her in this state of soul : the way of faith, obscure, 
yet luminous, because she clearly realized the love 
of God. He was her light, enlightening her in the 
darkness of her night, so that she blessed the Lord 
at all times. God appeared to wish to recompense 
her generous fidelity during this retreat, for she was 
overwhelmed with graces too sublime and substantial 
to be described, so that when Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity gave an account of her dispositions, she 
raised her lustrous eyes to her Prioress, and could 
only say : " He imparts eternal life to me." 

" The kingdom of God must needs bring eternal 
life with it," says the holy Abbot Moses, "and is 
entered by the practice of virtue, purity of heart, 
and spiritual and divine knowledge." * 

After this retreat, her prayer seemed still more 
simple. "We must keep our eyes on Him," she 
* " Lives of the Fathers of the Desert." 


said, speaking of the Divine Master ; " we must be 
silent ; it is so simple !" This was her one rule. If 
a novena was to be made, a feast to be prepared for, 
when she was asked what she was going to do, she 
always answered : " I am going to be silent, so that 
He may flow into me." 

This invariable answer was generally expected by 
our young nuns, who used to say to her ? rather 
mischievously : " You will be quiet, won't you ? 
Silence !" And she used to smile. 

Sometimes, however, she felt very doubtful whether 
she ought to be constantly passive ; ought she not to 
act more during prayer ? Her peace, disturbed for 
the moment, was always restored to her by Him 
Who wished her to be thus recollected under His 
direct and continuous action. One day, during the 
" Forty Hours," Elizabeth, after listening to her 
companions urging one another to make reparation, 
felt rather sorry, as she began her prayer, at not 
being able to act in the same way ; but she had 
hardly prostrated herself to adore our Lord, when 
He enveloped her with a luminous and peace-giving 
radiance. It was suddenly revealed to her that the 
obstacle created by sin against God's diffusing Him- 
self into the souls of men was one of the things 
which most deeply wounded the Divine Heart, and 
that to console Him and to make reparation for 
such an outrage, she must let herself be taken posses- 
sion of by God, giving full liberty to His grace and 
love to act within her. Now that her form of 
prayer was divinely approved, it became more and 
more her habitual state of soul. 

" Do you not delight in listening to Him ?" she 
wrote to a young seminarist. " Sometimes I feel so 


strongly impelled to be silent that I should like to 
do nothing but sit at the Saviour's feet with the 
Magdalen, eager to hear everything and to penetrate 
deeper and deeper still into the mystery of charity 
that He came to reveal. Have you not found that 
while we are active and appear to be filling Martha's 
office the soul can remain buried in contemplation 
like Magdalen, or like a thirsty man at the fountain ? 
That seems to me the mission of the Carmelite and 
the priest : both can show forth God and give Him 
to souls if they are always close to the Divine source. 
I think we should draw very near the Master, be 
in communion with His soul, identify ourselves with 
all His impulses, then go forth, like Him, according 
to the will of His Father. 

" I like the thought, * the life of the priest (and 
of the Carmelite) is an advent that prepares souls 
for the Incarnation.' David says in one of the 
Psalms: 'A fire shall go before Him.'* Is not 
love that fire ? And is it not also our mission to 
prepare the way of the Saviour by our union with 
Him Whom the Apostle calls a consuming fire ? 
By contact with Him, our soul will become a flame of 
love, spreading throughout all the members of the 
Body of Christ, which is the Church. Then we 
shall console our Master's Heart, and He will be 
able to show us to His Father, saying : * I am already 
glorified in them.' " 

Sister Elizabeth interpreted the apostolate of 
Carmel like a genuine daughter of St. Teresa and 
St. John of the Cross. As our holy Father says in 
his " Spiritual Canticle " : 

"The soul that enjoys solitary love seems idle, 
* Ps. xcvi. 3. 


but ... an instant of pure love is more precious in 
the eyes of God and the soul, and more profitable to 
the Church, than all other good works together, 
though it may seem as if nothing were done. Thus, 
Mary Magdalen, though her preaching was most 
edifying, and might have been still more so after- 
wards, out of the great desire she had to please 
God and edify the Church, hid herself, nevertheless, 
in the desert thirty years, that she might surrender 
herself entirely to love ; for she considered that she 
would gain more in that way, because an instant of 
pure love is so much more profitable and important 
to the Church. ... In a word, it is for this love 
that we were all created."* 

The following lines show more clearly that Sister 
Elizabeth of the Trinity fully grasped the truth of 
this great doctrine : 

"Since our Lord dwells in our soul, His prayer 
is ours, and I desire to partake of it unceasingly, 
keeping like a little pitcher beside the fountain, so 
that I may be able to give life to others by letting 
His inexhaustible streams of charity overflow on 

" * For them do I sanctify Myself, that they also 
may be sanctified in the truth.' t Let us make these 
words of our adorable Master our own. Yes ! let 
us sanctify ourselves for the souls of others, for as 
we are all members of the same body we can cause 
the Divine life to circulate throughout the great body 
of the Church in proportion to the share we possess 
of that life ourselves. 

"All sanctity and apostleship seem to me con- 

* " Spiritual ^Canticle of St. John of the Cross," xxviii., 
notes 2, 3. Lewis, London, 1909. t St. John xvii. 19. 



tained in two words : * union, love.' Pray that I 
may live beneath their sway by abiding within the 
Blessed Trinity." 

" When I think of my name," she wrote to the 
same seminarist, with whom the bonds of grace 
connected her more closely than can any ties ot 
relationship, " my soul is conducted by the great 
vision of the mystery of mysteries into that Trinity 
Which even in this world is our cloister, our dwelling- 
place, the infinite Being enclosed in which we can 
traverse all things. I am just reading the beautiful 
teaching of our Father St. John of the Cross about 
the transformation of the soul into the Three Divine 
Persons. To what sublime glory we are called ! I 
can understand the silence and recollection of the 
saints who could not withdraw from their contem- 
plation, so that God could lead them to the divine 
mount where union is made perfect between Him 
and the soul, which is His mystic bride. 

"What an adorable mystery of charity that God 
should call us by our vocation to live in such a 
knowledge ! . . . I should like to respond to it by 
passing through this world like our Lady, * keeping 
all these things in my heart,' retired, as it were, into 
the depth of my soul, so as to lose myself, to be 
transmerged into the Blessed Trinity Who dwells 
there ; then my device, * my radiant ideal,' as you 
call it, would be realized, and I should really be 
* Elizabeth of the Trinity? " 

Her special devotion for this august Mystery led 
her to make every Sunday a feast of the Blessed 
Trinity. When we recited the Athanasian Creed 
in the Office of the day she used " to feel as if she 
were in heaven " as she sang it. 


She never missed reminding her relations when 
Trinity Sunday came round, and kept it herself with 
even deeper recollection than usual. It was in the 
centre of her being that she sought it, and there 
adored the Mystery. 

" This is my own feast," she wrote to her sister : 
" there is no other like it for me. It is celebrated in 
silence and adoration in Carmel. I never before real- 
ized the sense of my vocation hidden in my name. Let 
this great Mystery be our meeting- place, our centre, 
and our abode." Sister Elizabeth's dedication to 
the Three Divine Persons increased her devotion for 
our Lady, and formed a closer bond of grace with 
her whom she termed the great praise of glory of the 
Blessed Trinity. " The movements of Mary's soul 
are so deep," Sister Elizabeth often said, " that we 
cannot fathom them ; she seems to reproduce on 
earth the Divine, the simple Being. She is so trans- 
parent that we might mistake her for the Light itself, 
yet she is only the { Mirror of the Sun of Justice.' 
It seems to me that she is more easy to imitate than 
any other saint ; it brings me peace whenever I look 
at her." 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity loved to think of 
the hour when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, 
the power of the Most High overshadowed her, 
and the Word became incarnate in her. One day, 
moved by contemplating this mystery, her heart over- 
flowed in a prayer in which she besought some of 
its ineffable graces.* It was written on November 21, 
1 904, on the Feast of the Presentation of our Lady, 
dear to her on account of the mysterious bond 
entered into between the child Virgin and the Three 
* Sec Appendix. 


Persons of the Blessed Trinity. Our little sister 
used to delight in placing herself, in imagination, on 
the threshold of the Temple, where she adored and 
renewed her vows in the same spirit of oblation. 

She was also particularly attracted by the season of 
Advent. " I need no effort," she said, " to enter 
into the Mystery of God dwelling within the Blessed 
Virgin ; it seems to resemble my usual attitude of 
soul, and like her, I adore the hidden God within me. 
When I read in the Gospel that Mary went in haste 
to the mountains of Judea on her charitable mission 
to her cousin Elizabeth, I can see her as she passes, 
calm, majestic, recollected, holding commune within 
herself with the Word of God. Her prayer was 
always the same as His : ' Ecce y here am I.' Who ? 
* The handmaid of the Lord/ she, His Mother, the 
lowliest of all His creatures. 

" Her humility was sincere because she was always 
forgetful of self, unconscious of, freed from self, so that 
she could sing : ' From henceforth all generations 
shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty 
hath done great things to me.' "* 

These words of Sister Elizabeth's recall a remark 
made about her by a religious : " She possesses a 
soul of an exceptional simplicity which has set her at 
perfect liberty." She had said to him during a 
retreat : " It is very dark and painful, yet I think it 
is as simple to suffer as to enjoy." Her character is 
in this sentence. In fact, she went straight to God, 
without devoting herself to the practice of any special 
virtue. Her Carmelite life, contained in the words of 
the Divine Master : " I do always the things that 
please my Father,"f implicitly includes all the virtues 
* St. Luke i. 48, 49. t St. John viii. 29. 


without further thought of them. " Love dwells 
within us," she used to say, " so all I do is to enter 
into myself and lose myself in Those within me." 

" I am Elizabeth of the Trinity, that is to say, 
Elizabeth disappearing, submerged in the { Three.' 
Let us give ourselves up to Them, sacrificing our- 
selves every moment without seeking for anything 
extraordinary. Let us make ourselves small, allowing 
Him Who is our all to carry us in His arms as a 
mother does her child. 

cc Yes, we are weak indeed, I may say we are 
nothing but misery ; but He well knows that. He 
delights in forgiving and raising us up, in bearing us 
in Himself, in His purity and infinite sanctity. In 
this way He purifies us by continual contact with 
Him. He wishes us to be stainless, and He 
Himself will be our purity ! We must allow our- 
selves to be transformed into His image, which will 
be accomplished simply by loving Him ceaselessly with 
such a love as causes unity between those who love. I 
wish to be a saint that I may glorify my Divine 
Master ; ask Him to make me live for love alone, 
which is my vocation. Let us unite ourselves to 
Him, so that our days may be in continual com- 
munion with Him ; let us awake in love, deliver 
ourselves to love all day by doing the will of the good 
God, in His sight, with Him, in Him, for Him 
alone ; let us give ourselves incessantly in the way in 
which He wishes ; then, when night comes, after a 
colloquy of love in our heart throughout the time, 
let us sleep again in love. Perhaps we may know 
of faults and infidelities on our part ; Jet us abandon 
them to love which is a consuming fire, and thus we 
shall have our purgatory." 


Again she writes: "Since we aspire to become 
< victims of charity," like our holy Mother St. Teresa, 
we must allow ourselves to become rooted in the 
charity of Christ, as St. Paul says in the beautiful 
epistle of to-day. How is that to be done ? In 
living raised above all that is around us with Him 
Who dwells within us, and Who is charity. He 
thirsts to give us all He is, to transform us into 
Himself. Let us rouse our faith and remember that 
He is within us, and wishes us to be true to Him. 
How many acts of self-denial we can offer unknown 
to all but Him ! Let us lose none of them. It 
seems to me that the saints are souls completely 
oblivious of self, lost in Him Whom they love, with 
never a thought of self or of creatures, so that they 
are able to say with St. Paul : * I live, yet not I, but 
Jesus Christ liveth in me.' No doubt we must 
immolate ourselves in order to be so transformed, 
but we love sacrifice because we love the crucified 
God. Oh, let us be in earnest about it ! Let us 
give our soul to Him, telling Him that we long to 
love but Him alone ; let Him do all, for we are 
feeble and childish, and it is such joy to be the little 
babe of the good God !" 



The first anniversary All Souls' Day, 1902 Filial affection 
Divine Providence " My two lovely lilies " The mystery 
of Divine adoption. 

INTERMINGLED with her spiritual sayings are touch- 
ing words addressed to those whom Sister Elizabeth 
said she had never loved so deeply as since she became 
a nun. Her correspondence with her relatives 
delights as much as it helps us, while completely 
refuting the prejudice felt by the world against those 
who sacrifice the ties and joys of home for the sake 
of God. 

The following letter was written by the little 
novice in August, 1902, on the first anniversary of 
her entrance into Carmel : 


" Just a year ago I gave to God the best of 
mothers, yet the great sacrifice has not separated our 
souls 1 Do you not realize that they are more 
united now than ever before ? Oh, let me tell you 
how happy I am ! The good God has been too 
kind to me ; my whole soul is filled with gratitude 
and love to Him and to you. I thank you for 
having given me to Him. When 1 remember the 



anguish of those last hours, I thank Him Who 
upheld us both. . . . 

" Marguerite was radiant the other day. I have 
not seen her so happy for the last year ; she has 
lost her little heart. ... I assure you that she who 
is enamoured of Christ is no less happy. My Bride- 
groom is so beautiful! I love Him passionately, 
and am transformed into Him by loving Him ; 
besides, it is such joy to have Him always with me. 
We love one another so dearly ! Ah ! but for that, 
I should still be with you. I feel the sacrifice, yet 
I am perfectly happy. 

" Tell the engaged couple that I continually pray 
for them." 

Three months later, All Souls' Day revived sad 
memories in her mother's heart. Sister Elizabeth 
consoled her by the radiant hope of her own faith. 

" November I, 1902. 


"Our Reverend Mother, who knows you 
must be feeling lonely, has given me leave to tell 
you how closely united my soul will be to yours 
during the next few days, and that, one in our faith 
and love, we shall find the dear ones who have left 
us and have gone to Paradise. I never before felt 
them so present with me. They are glad I am in 
Carmel, for it is very near heaven ; indeed, we 
Carmelites are already in heaven by faith. 

"When you hear the bell toll for the Office of 
the Dead, join your prayers to mine ; whatever I do 
is done by you too ; that agreement has been made 
with the good God. 


" The Divine Master says to-day : * Blessed are 
they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.'* 
' God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes 'f in 
heaven. Dear mother, I have often seen you weep ; 
your life has been full of sorrow and sacrifices ; but you 
know that the more God asks, the more He gives. 

"The Lamb Whom the blessed adore in the 
Vision is He to Whom your Elizabeth is betrothed, 
and Whose bride she longs to become. Oh, how 
beautiful a lot is mine ! All heaven belongs to me ; 
my life is centred where, even in this world, I follow 
my 'Lamb wherever He goeth.' 

" If you could only know how happy I am, you 
would thank Him Who has chosen me ! Listen to 
what He says to you : * Whosoever shall do the 
will of My Father that is in heaven, he is My brother 
and sister and mother. ' Remember, you are not 
alone ; the Divine Friend is with you, and with Him 
your Elizabeth !" 

All her letters are in the same strain of super- 
natural tenderness. 

" February, 1902. 


" . . . I address my letter to Luneville, as I think 
you are there now. Give all sorts of kind messages 

to Mademoiselle A and tell her that the grille 

of Carmel, which made her blood freeze and seemed 
so melancholy to her, looks gilded to me. Ah ! if 
we could only raise the curtain, what a prospect we 
should see on the other side! Infinitude itself! and 
that is why it enlarges every day. Carmel, which is 
solitude with Him we love, is heaven beforehand. 

* St. Matt. v. 5. t Apoc. vii. 17. J St. Matt. xii. 50. 


Do not be jealous ; He alone realizes the sacrifice 1 
made in leaving you. I know that I could never 
have made it unless His love had upheld me, for I 
love you so dearly more dearly every day, for He 
makes it supernatural. 

" These carnival days are delightful and full of 
God. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed ; I am 
before Him nearly all day, and Marguerite, whom I 
seem to keep in my soul, is there with me. We are 
in darkness, for the grille is open and all the light 
comes from Him. I like to see the grating 
between us. He is a prisoner for me and I for Him. 

" Since mamma is interested in my health, tell 
her that I am quite well. I should never notice 
it was winter but for the pretty curtains with which 
the good God covers our windows. How charm- 
ing the cloister looks with its decorations of hoar- 
frost ! 

" Live close to God ; we are one in Him." 

" Do you remember," she writes to her mother 
about August 15, 1903, "how cunningly your 
Elizabeth used to hide to make a pretty surprise 
present for you ? This year, too, I am making my 
preparations, my secret plans, with my Divine Spouse. 
He opens all His treasures to me, and I have taken 
this lovely bouquet from them, a crown which will 
shine on your brow for all eternity. Your little 
daughter will rejoice some day in heaven, thinking 
she has helped the Divine Master to make it ; that 
she set it with glowing rubies, the blood of your 
heart and her own ! . . . 

" I am writing in our little cell, which is full of 
silence, and, above all, full of God. 1 feel to-night 


that I must thank you again, for you well know that 
I should never have left you without your fat, and 
He wished me to sacrifice you for love of Him. 
Carmel is like heaven ; we must separate ourselves 
from all to possess Him Who is the All, but I 
love you as we shall love in our fatherland. There 
can never be any greater separation between Us than 
there is now, for He Whom I possess within me 
dwells in you, so that we are united. 

"And now, dear mamma, I only have time to 
wish you one thing : that God, Who has taken me 
for Himself, may, as time goes on, be more and 
more the one Friend Who is your solace at all times. 
Live on intimate terms with Him, heart to heart, 
as we live with one we love ; that is the secret of 
the happiness of your child, who embraces you with 
all the tenderness of her Carmelite heart the heart 
that is all your own, for it is all His, and belongs to 
Him and to the Blessed Trinity." 

When Elizabeth met her relatives in the parlour, 
she generally spoke to them of recollection, of 
intimacy with God, and of the joys of Divine love. 
Her fervour made her delight in raising the souls 
she loved to greater heights. 

" I am overjoyed at seeing what the good God is 
doing for mamma and Marguerite," she wrote to 

Canon A . " He has taken me that He may 

give Himself more fully." 

Again : " I long to send my dear mother to you. 
You will see how God is carrying out His work in 
her, so that I cry for joy and gratitude sometimes. 
How happy it is to share one's mother's religion, to 
feel that she is all His, to be able to speak to her 
from one's soul, and to be understood I It is well 


for us to confide in God and to abandon the care of 
self and those we love to Him. . . ." 

Heaven repaid her self-abandonment by showering 
blessings upon the home still dear to her. Her 
young sister married a man who was all her faith 
could desire. The wedding gave her an opportunity 
of explaining her own happiness to her mother. 

" Marguerite and her husband came to see me. 
They seem very happy. I thanked God on their 
account . . . and on my own. From a worldly 
point of view my lot seems nothing but self-sacrifice, 
yet, believe me, I have the better part. In spite of 
the tears it cost her, a mother ought to rejoice at 
having given a Carmelite to God, for, after a priest, 
I know of nothing more holy upon earth. The 
name of Carmelite implies that the soul is angelic. 
Ask our holy Mother, St. Teresa, whom you taught 
me to love while I was a young child, that I may 
become a saintly Carmelite. You should rejoice at 
being loved by the little heart that is wholly given 
to God. If I love Him, it is you who led me to 
Him ; you prepared me so well for our first meeting 
on that great day when we gave ourselves to one 
another ! Thank you for all you have done ! I long 
to make Him loved, and to give Him to souls as 
you have done. 

" I give my crucifix a kiss for our Lord to take to 
you from His bride, your fond little daughter." 

" Novembtr, 1903. 

" { The kingdom of God is within you.'* 

" What pleasure you gave me on my feast 
by your pretty message and your lovely photograph! 
* St. Luke xvii. 21. 


St. Elizabeth must have let you know what I wanted 
most. Your likeness makes me become recollected, 
and then it seems as if we two were both close to 
our Lord. It is really true that He is in our souls, 
and that we are always near Him like Martha and 
Mary. While you are busy I keep you at His feet. 
You know that when we love Him, outside things 
cannot distract our thoughts from Him, and so 
Marguerite is Martha and Mary at the same 

" How I enfold you in my prayers, you and the 
dear little creature who is already in the mind of 
God ! Let yourself be given up to and possessed by 
His Divine life, so that the little one will enter this 
world enriched with blessings. 

" I hope it will be very pretty, and am delighted 
to think what happiness it will bring with it, thank 
God ! I share your joy in the midst of the solitude 
I love so well." 

The following charming lines were written on the 
birth of little Elizabeth : 

" I feel full of reverence before this little temple 
of the Blessed Trinity ; her soul seems to me like a 
crystal through which God shines. If I were with 
her, I should kneel to adore Him Who dwells 
within her. . . . How 1 should like to nurse her 1 
But the good God has called me to the mountain to 
be her angel and to protect her by my prayers, and 
I joyfully sacrifice all the rest to Him for her sake. 
How happy I feel at thinking that you are a mother ! 
I confide you and your little angel to the care of Him 
Who is Love itself. I adore Him with you and 
embrace you in His heart." 


" Manb, 1904. 
" ' How good God is f 


" How glad I am that I can call you by this 
sweet name, and that the dear little one is called 
Elizabeth! Thank God for giving her to me, so 
that I may be her angel ! I have adopted her as 
my own property. I prayed much for her before 
her birth, and now my prayer and self-denial will 
be the two wings beneath which I shall shelter her. 

" I offered a novena of Masses that she might be 
washed in the Precious Blood. The novena ended 
to-day the Feast of the Five Wounds of our Saviour 
and the little angel has come to us from the wound 
of His Heart ; is it not touching ? 

" Let me know the day of her baptism, so that I 
may accompany my little darling to the font, where 
the Holy Ghost will descend into her soul. Your 
Carmelite would have been delighted to see you, yet 
sacrifice is sweet, especially when it is our heart we 
offer. You gave your Elizabeth to God, He has 
sent you a second, and we shall try which of us can 
love you best. . . ." 

" July 20, 1904. 

" c The eye of God is upon her; His love encircles her 
like a rampart' 


" c Echo of my soul,' as Teresa of the Infant 
Jesus called one of her sisters. I love to give you 
this sweet name on the eve of your feast. 

" My darling flower, my Marguerite, I beg God 
to grant all the wishes of your great * heart of gold/ 
to send down on -you the fire of His love, that 


beneath these Divine rays you may grow and bloom, 
and that in the shadow of your { great white petals,' 
another little flower very dear to my heart may 
open its tender bud. 

" How pretty your little * Sabeth ' is ! She made 
me all sorts of charming little signs yesterday from 
the arms of her delighted grandmother. She looked 
so sweet with her eyes closed and her hands folded 
on her heart. I made our Reverend Mother smile 
by telling her that my niece was an * adorer ' ; that 
is her calling as the ' House of God." 

" August, 1904. 
"'God is Love.' 


" Yes, I do indeed find you at the feet of 
Jesus, and I never leave you, but share the joy of 
His Heart at finding a Marguerite wherein He can 
rest. Be His paradise in this land where He is so 
little known and loved ; open your heart wide that 
He may enter as your Guest, and when He is in the 
little cell of your soul, love Him, Marguerite ! He 
thirsts for love : bear Him company. ... I am 
pleased with you, and the Master loves His little 

" It seems a long time ago since we climbed the 
mountains together ; I remember what a lovely 
view we had from our room. Does not such scenery 
lead you to God ? Enjoy beautiful Switzerland and 
our dear mother's companionship. I can understand 
that you are making a sacrifice in going so far from 
George. It is the law of this life : sacrifice and joy 
go side by side. The good God wishes to remind us 
that we have not yet reached our final happiness. 


Still, we have turned in that direction, and He 
Himself will carry us there in His arms. There in 
heaven, little sister, He will satisfy all our cravings. 
Meanwhile, let us dwell in the heaven of our soul, 
where we can be so happy even here." 

" Easter , 1 904. 
< Alle luiaV 


" We have sung the Alleluia^ and I am 
writing to tell you how I rejoice in your happiness of 
motherhood. I am so glad to be made an aunt a 
second time, especially of a little niece, for I think 
there will be the same sisterly love in your happy 
home as there was between you and me, and ' Sabeth' 
has an Odette, as Aunt Elizabeth had a Marguerite. 
* Sabeth ' was born on the Feast of the Five Wounds 
of Jesus, and now Odette has arrived on the day the 
Master was sold to save her little soul. Is it not 
touching ? 

"I bore your soul with me wherever I went during 
this great week, especially during the night of 
Maundy Thursday ; and since you could not go to 
Him, I asked Him to go to you. During the 
silence of prayer I whispered to my * Guite ' the 
words addressed by the Pere Lacordaire to Magdalen 
when she went to seek her Master on the morning of 
the Resurrection : * Ne Le demandez plus a personne 
sur la terre, a personne dans le ciel, car Lui c'est 
votre ame, et votre ame c'est, Lui !' * 

" What blessings He is showering on your little 

* It was thought best to leave this sentence untranslated, as it 
hardly admits of an English rendering apart from its context. 


nest, and what love He shows you by entrusting to 
you the two little souls which ' He chose in Him 
before the foundation of the world, that they might 
be holy and unspotted in His sight in charity !'* 
It is you who must guide them to Him and make 
them all His own. 

" Tell George from me how my heart shares 
all your joys, for which I thank the Father,' from 
Whom comes * every perfect gift.' t 

" Good-bye. I keep close to your babies with you. 
Each has a beautiful angel beside her who sees the 
Face of God ; let us ask them to lead us to the Love 
which is unchangeable and keep us there. 

" I send Odette a medal which has touched the 
miraculous Infant Jesus of Beaune ; fasten it to her 
cradle, so that He Who so dearly loves the little 
ones may bless and protect her." 

Later on she writes to Elizabeth and Odette 
themselves a charming way of pleasing and touch- 
ing the soul of their mother, which is so faithful an 
echo of her own. 

" My dear little nieces, my lovely pure white lilies, 
whose calix contains Jesus Himself, if you only 
knew how I pray that He may overshadow and 
protect you from all harm ! You look very tiny 
in your mother's arms, but to your aunt, who sees 
you with the eye of faith, you partake of infinite 
grandeur for you have been present in the mind of 
God from all eternity, since He ' predestinated you 
to be made conformable to the image of His Son,' 
and has clothed you with Himself in baptism, making 
you both His children and His living temple. 
* Eph. i. 4. t St. James i. 17. 



"O dear little sanctuaries of love! When I see 
the splendour which shines within you, though as 
yet it is only the daybreak, 1 am silent, and adore 
Him Who has created such marvels !" 

" August, 1905. 
" ' He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.'* 


" To-day is Sunday, the happiest of days, for 
I spend it before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in 
the oratory, excepting the time when I am at the 
turn, of which I take advantage to have a chat 
with you, beneath the eyes of Him we love. I have 
chosen a large sheet of paper, for I have so many 
things to say to my * Guite '! 

" I have lately been reading some splendid things 
by St. Paul about Divine adoption, and I naturally 
thought of you. Being a mother, you know what 
depth of love for your children God has put into 
your heart, so you can understand how great is the 
mystery of our being the children of God. Does 
it not make you tremble, Marguerite ? Listen to 
what my dear St. Paul says : * God chose us in Him 
before the foundation of the world. . . . Who hath 
predestinated us into the adoption of children . . . 
unto the praise of the glory of His grace. 'f Which 
means that, almighty as He is, it does not seem as if 
He could have done anything more grand. Again : 
* If a son, an heir also through God.' J And what 
is this inheritance ? c God hath made us worthy to 
be partakers of the lot of the saints in light. ' And 
then, as if to show that it does not mean in the far 

* i Cor. vi. 17. t Eph. i. 4, 5, 6. 

I Gal. iv. 7. Col. i. 12. 


future, the Apostle adds : * Now, therefore, you are 
no more strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow- 
citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God.'* 

Marguerite ! this heaven is the centre of our soul ; 
as St. John of the Cross says, when we are in its 
deepest centre, we are in God. How simple and 
consoling it is ! In the midst of all your motherly 
cares and occupations you can retire into this solitude 
and give yourself up to the Holy Spirit, so that He 
may transform you into God, impressing the divine 
image of His beauty on your soul, in order that, 
when the Father looks down on you, He may see 
nothing but His Christ, and may say : * This is my 
beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased !' 
Little sister, I shall rejoice in heaven at seeing the 
beauty of my Christ shining in your soul. I shall 
not be jealous, but shall say to Him, with a mother's 
pride : ' It is I, wretched creature as I am, who 
brought her forth unto Thy life.' St. Paul spoke so 
of his converts ; I should like to imitate him. 
What do you think about it ? 

" Meanwhile, let us * believe in His love, and the 
charity which God hath to us,'f like St. John. Since 
we possess Him within us, what does it matter if our 
heaven is obscured by night? If Jesus seems to 
sleep, let us rest beside Him ; let us be calm and 
silent ; do not let us wake Him, but wait in faith. 

1 do not think that * Sabeth ' and Odette trouble 
themselves much as to whether there is sun or rain, 
while they are in their mother's arms ; let us imitate 
the little ones and rest as simply in the arms of God. 

" I was always fond of a large park, for solitude 
is a delight. I think you appreciate it. Will you 
* Eph. ii. 19. t i St. John iv. 16. 


make a retreat with me for a month ending on 
September 14? Our Mother has given me this 
little holiday from the turn so that I shall not 
have to talk or think about it ; I am going to bury 
myself in the depths of my soul, that is, in God. 
Will you imitate me in this very simple action ? 

" When your many duties distract your attention, 
I shall try to compensate for you, and you, if you 
like, will enter each hour into the centre of your soul 
where your Divine Guest dwells. You might think 
of the beautiful words I quoted to you : * You are 
the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth 
within you/ * and those of the Master : * Abide in 
Me, and I in you.'f It is said that St. Catharine of 
Siena always dwelt in her cell even when in the midst 
of the world, for she lived in that inner dwelling- 
place in which Marguerite, too, knows how to 
live. . . ." 

* i Cor. iii. 1 6. t St. John xv. 4. 


Letters of condolence " How simple it is to die !" Thirst for 
self-sacrifice Retreat of 1905 Impressions of the last 
hour A presentiment. 

THE same freshness and high tone of feeling char- 
acterizes all Sister Elizabeth's correspondence. Her 
refined, delicate style, graceful and inspired by super- 
natural feeling, gives an indescribable charm to every 
subject she treats, so that it has been said of this 
daughter of St. Teresa, as of her seraphic Mother, 
that she cannot be thoroughly known except by her 
letters. Were it not for fear of making our story too 
long, we should give the reader all that have been pre- 
served ; however, we select a few which presage the 
final state of her soul, which was already raised above 
this world and had begun to mount towards God. 
" I have heard of the painful sacrifice God asks of 

you," she wrote to Monsieur 1'abbe X , when 

his father died. " I think that, at such times, our 
only comfort can come from the Master Whose 
divinely loving Heart ' was troubled ' at the tomb 
of Lazarus, so that we can weep with Him, and, 
leaning on Him, find fresh strength and peace. I 
pray a great deal for your father's soul. He was 
indeed the 'just man ' of whom the Scriptures speak, 



What a consolation, when his course was run, to 
look back upon his life so full of good works ! For 
him the veil has fallen, the darkness of mystery has 
disappeared : he has seen ! . . . Let us follow him 
by faith into the regions of peace and of love, for all 
must end in God, Who some day will say His 
Veni to us also ; then, like the little babe on its 
mother's breast, we shall sleep in Him, and * in His 
light we shall see light.'* 

" Good-bye, Monsieur 1'abbe. Let us live on the 
heights far away ... in Him ... in our hearts, 
and as the communion of saints brings us into inter- 
course with those who have left us, let us pray 
together for the soul of your dear father, so that if 
he has not yet attained to it, he may soon enjoy the 
eternal vision of God. It is beneath this radiance of 
the presence of God that I remain at one with you !" 

She wrote to a friend urging her to rise above her 

" I can understand your sorrow. What an im- 
penetrable mystery death is ! Yet, at the same time, 
how simple for the soul that has lived in faith, for 
those who 'look not at the things which are seen. . . . 
For the things which are seen are temporal, but the 
things which are not seen are eternal. 'f St. John, 
whose pure soul was radiant with divine light, 
gives in a few words what seems to me a most 
beautiful definition of death : c Jesus knowing that 
His hour was come, that He should pass out of 
this world to the Father . . .'J Is not the 
simplicity of these words touching ? When the 
final hour sounds for us, we must not suppose that 
God will come before us to judge us, but that we shall 

* Ps; xxxv. 10. f 2 Cor. iv. 18. \ St. John xiii. I. 

"SOLA SOLI" 135 

remain for all eternity in the state in which God 
finds us then, and our degree of grace will be our 
degree of glory. By the fact of being delivered 
from the body, the soul can see Him without a veil 
within itself, as it has possessed Him all its lifetime, 
though unable to contemplate Him face to face. 
This is perfectly true ; it is theology. Is it not a 
comfort to think that He Who is to be our Judge 
dwells within us throughout our miseries, to save us 
and to forgive our sins ? St. Paul affirms positively 
that we are 'justified freely by His grace, . . . 
through faith in His blood.'* How rich we 
are in the gifts of God, predestinate by divine 
adoption, and so heirs of the heritage of His glory !" 

She whose soul found heaven so near and death 
so simple, approached the end of her exile ; the thirst 
for immolation, the grace of her childhood, was a 
divine call to the Calvary now appearing on the 

Sister Elizabeth's health had been maintained, with 
the help of a little management, until the spring of 
1 905, after which our Observance had to be modified 
for her a supreme renouncement for this true 
Carmelite, who wished to keep her Rule until death, 
" until she died of very love !" 

" It was very painful to me to be taken care of, 
because I keenly longed to follow my Master in His 
self-sacrifice," she confided to the Mother Prioress 
shortly before she died. " I remember now what a 
severe sacrifice you asked of me one day. It was 
the beginning of Lent, and I begged you, as a 
favour, to let me have no more than usual at collation. 
You answered, giving me no hope of obtaining what 

* Rom. iii. 24, 25. 


I asked : ' You will eat whatever is given you.' 
Your reply seemed a refusal, and I submitted, but 
not without regret. On entering the refectory in 
the evening I longed to look at my place, but I 
offered this and my eagerness to our Lord as a 
renewal of the sacrifice made in the morning. But 
when I slipped along the bench of our table there 
was the meagre little collation I wanted ! I cannot 
tell you how glad I was ! No epicure was ever so 
pleased with a sumptuous dinner as I was with the 
frugal little meal ! How happy I was, and how 
thankful to God and to you, my Mother !" 

Alas ! she would never enjoy that happiness again. 
She could not fast, but the doctor gave us hopes 
that, with rest and fresh air, she would recover. 

She was taken from the office of portress, and 
henceforth, " alone with the One," we saw her fully 
correspond to grace in her complete solitude. 

" Our kind Mother, who watches over your Eliza- 
beth with true maternal love," she wrote to her 
mother, " insists upon my living out of doors, so 
instead of working in our little cell, I instal myself 
like a hermit in the most deserted part of our 
immense garden, where I spend a delightful time. 
Nature seems to me full of God : the wind rustling 
among the trees, the songs of the little birds, the 
beautiful blue sky, all speak to me of Him. O 
mother ! I must tell you that my happiness con- 
tinually increases, is becoming infinite, like God 
Himself ; yet it is so calm and sweet. I should like 
to tell you my secret. 

" St. Peter says in his first epistle : ' You . . . 
believing, shall rejoice with joy unspeakable.' * 
The Carmelite draws all her happiness from this 
* i St. Pet. i. 8. 

"SOLA SOLI" 137 

divine source of faith. She believes, as St. John 
says, in the ' charity the Father hath bestowed 
on us ;'* she believes that this charity drew 
Him to earth and into her own soul, for He 
Who is called ' the Truth ' has said : ' Abide in 
Me, and I in you.'f She obeys this most sweet 
commandment in all simplicity, living in intimacy 
with the God Who dwells within her, Who is more 
present to her than she is to herself. This is not 
all imagination or sentiment, dearest mother, it is 
pure faith ; and your own faith is so strong that God 
might say to you as He said to another : f O woman, 
great is thy faith !' Yes, it was great when you led 
your Isaac to sacrifice him on the mountain ! The 
good God has registered this heroic act of a mother's 
heart in the great book of life. I think your page 
will be well filled, and that you can await the hour 
of Divine judgment in peaceful confidence. 

" It is your feast on Tuesday, mother dear, and 
though as a rule we do not write on such occasions 
in Carmel, our Reverend Mother has allowed me to 
make my letter coincide with the date so dear to me. 
You will feel sure that I send you my tenderest 
wishes. Do you remember how I used to enjoy 
preparing my surprises for that day ? I have offered 
all such things on the altar of my heart to Him Who 
is a * Spouse of blood.' It would be far from true 
to say that it has cost me nothing. Sometimes I 
wonder how I could have left so good a mother, but 
the more we give to God, the more He gives, as I 
realize better every day. So I wish you a happy 
feast ! I should be very glad if our Lady, on the 
Feast of the Assumption, were to take with her all 
* I St. John iii. I. t St. John xv. 4. 


your cares, past, present, and to come, for you have 
only too many, and your Elizabeth cannot bear to 
see a shadow pass over your dear face." 

The " most sweet commandment * Abide in Me" 
of which Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity reminds 
her mother, was the source of changeless peace to 
herself, in spite of the lassitude caused by her failing 
health. She knew how to raise herself above her 

" I press towards the mark . . . Christ Jesus,"* 
she said, and she spoke the truth. Later on 
she owned to her Prioress that she used to look at 
her sometimes on leaving midday recreation, in 
the hopes of seeing a little gesture of invitation 
which would have been a ray of sunshine in the 
gloom. " As you did not notice me, Mother, I went 
back to our cell with my trials." " What did you 
do there ?" " I used to try to raise myself above, or 
creep under them. I read St. Paul, who had always 
brought me grace although purely in the spirit of 
faith at such times, I assure you. I went over my 
favourite passages, or asked my Master to lead me 
to fresh pastures, and by ruminating over what I 
found there I got the better of my troubles in the 
end. But if you only knew what God wants of me ! 
He will not allow me to cast a glance at anything 
but Him, although He hides Himself entirely. He 
requires real heroism of me." 

" I am starting this evening on a long journey, 
which is nothing less than my private retreat," she 

wrote on October 8, 1 905, to Monsieur 1'abbe X , 

a recently ordained priest. " I shall be in absolute 

solitude for the next ten days, with several extra 

* Phil. iii. 14. 

"SOLA SOLI" 139 

hours for prayer, and shall wear our veil down when 
walking about the convent. I shall be more like a 
hermit of the desert than ever. Before entering my 
Thebaid, I feel a real need of asking for the help of 
your holy prayers above all, for a special intention 
in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. When you con- 
secrate the Host in which Jesus, Who alone is holy, 
is about to become incarnate, will you consecrate me 
with Him as a victim of praise of His glory, so 
that all my aspirations, my movements, my actions, 
may be a homage to His sanctity ? 

" ' Be ye holy, because I the Lord your God am 
holy.'* I concentrate my thoughts upon this sen- 
tence, beneath the light of which I shall make my 
Divine journey. St Paul comments upon it for me 
when he says : * He chose us in Him before the 
foundations of the world, that we should be holy 
and unspotted in His sight in charity.' f This, 
then, is the secret of virginal purity : to dwell 
in love that is to say, in God. * God is charity. *J 

" Pray much for me during these ten days, for I 
trust in your doing so. Indeed, it seems to me quite 
simple, for God has united our souls so that we 
should help one another. Has He not said : *A 
brother that is helped by his brother is like a 
strong city '? This is the mission I entrust to 
you. Monsieur l'abb, will you offer for me 
St. Paul's fervent prayer for his loved Ephesians ? 
* that the Father . . . would grant you, according to 
the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His 
Spirit with might unto the inward man, that Christ 
may dwell by faith in your hearts ; that being rooted 

* Lev. xix. 2. t Eph. i. 4. 

1 i St. John iv. 1 6. Prov. zviii. 19. 


and founded in charity, you may be able to compre- 
hend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and 
length, and height, and depth. To know also the 
charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge, 
that you may be filled unto all the fulness of God.'* 

" * Sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts,'f so as 
to realize what David sang under the influence of 
the Holy Ghost : * Upon him shall My sanctification 
flourish.' "t 

This retreat might be termed the crown of all the 

" God has given me such light on our holy 
vocation," she said, when giving an account of these 
days of grace : " I have learnt to realize its height and 
sublimity so deeply, that I beg Him not to let me 
live long, for it seems so difficult for such a coward as 
myself to mount so high, and to remain there. He 
can find many substitutes for the deficiency of the 
glory His little ' praise ' could have rendered Him in 
this world, and can make a few days equal the long 
career I might have had. He knows how I love 
Him and long to suffer for Him." 

After this retreat we could see that she was rapidly 
approaching the state in which the soul lives for God 
alone. The young nuns who were her neighbours 
at recreation said that they could no longer follow her 
spiritual flight. Truly she dwelt in higher regions, 
as was evident to all who had to deal with her. 

Her inner feelings imparted a striking modesty 
and dignity to her appearance. A novice who met 
her in the cloisters, seeing her so deeply absorbed in 
God, was afraid to ask her for some service that 
was required. 

* Eph. iii. 16-19. t I St. Pet. iii. 15. t Ps. cxxxi. 18. 

"SOLA SOLI' 141 

There was much during the latter part of her life 
that resembled her postulancy, but her continual 
progress in recollection and prayer gave this privileged 
soul a maturity, and a grace for helping others, which 
raised our highest expectations. 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity was about to leave 
the noviceship and to devote herself still more to the 
community, where her influence would naturally be 
more widespread. 

As we witnessed her treasures of grace, we said to 
ourselves that God intended either to make her a 
great saint, or to accomplish His work rapidly. The 
latter conjecture was soon forced upon us. Our hopes 
were obliged to concede to her ardent longings. 
Did the Divine Master give her any secret presenti- 
ment of it ? While she was preparing the crib at 
Christmas time, she was heard to say to the Divine 
Infant : " Ah ! my little King of love ! we shall see 
one another nearer next year !" " How do you 
know that ?" her companion asked. She looked at 
her, gave her usual angelic smile, and spoke no more. 



14 Love has been the beginning and the middle of thy course ; 
it must also be the end. Thou canst not live without it : it is 
thy life in this world and in the next, for it is I." 

Dialogues of St. Catharine of Genoa. 



St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death A helpful retreat 
Lent and St. Paul The Venerable Marguerite of the Blessed 
Sacrament Palm Sunday Self-surrender A sudden im- 
provement in health Letters to relatives. 

WHEN we drew our patron saint for the year at 
recreation on New Year's Day, 1906, St. Joseph 
fell to the lot of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity. 
She was very pleased. " St. Joseph is the patron of a 
good death," she said ; " he is coming to take me 
to the Father." No one believed it indeed, we 
smiled at the hope which so delighted her. One 
of the elder nuns playfully scolded her for expecting 
eternal rest so soon. Elizabeth made a little sign of 
conviction, or rather, of intuition. 

During the same month she attended with the 
rest of the community a retreat given by a Jesuit 
Father which strengthened her resolution of uniting 
her will to that of God, so that she was quite ready 
to enter the via dolorosa, or rather, it was the viaticum 
in the strength of which she courageously walked 
forward in the path on which she had already started. 

Sister Elizabeth owned, later on, that for some 
months she had felt an utter weariness beneath which 
she must have succumbed but for the help of God. 

145 10 


Before leaving the office of portress, she had some- 
times found it difficult to walk quickly when she heard 
herself summoned at some little distance. On one 
particular occasion, when the bell rang as she was at 
the foot of the stairs, it cost her a severe effort to 
mount the first flight ; she simply could not get any 
farther, but, like our first Mothers, the generous 
young nun drew strength from her infirmities. " I 
can do all things in Him Who strengtheneth me !"* 
she exclaimed, and her body so responded to the 
fortitude of her soul that no one would have guessed 
the grave state of affairs. Even those who were 
most anxious, and with grave reason, about her health, 
were not yet aware how seriously it had broken down. 
Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity, fearing lest she might 
exaggerate her sufferings, minimized her symptoms 
when she was told to describe them. Everything 
possible was done to cure her, but, to our great grief, 
nothing succeeded. 

"After saying the Hours in the morning," she 
owned when speaking of her condition, " I used to 
feel thoroughly exhausted, and wondered how I 
should get through the day. My cowardice reached 
its height after Compline, and I was sometimes 
tempted to envy a sister who was told to rest from 
Matins." " Did you not think it a want of simplicity 
to keep silent about your sufferings ?" interrupted 
the Prioress, overcome at what she heard. "The 
idea of telling you never entered my head, Mother, 
as your care for me, and the exceptions in the Obser- 
vance you made for me, had no effect, I saw 
clearly that it was the will of God. Besides, I was 
always afraid of listening to nature, and what more 
* Phil. iv. 13. 


could you have done for me ? When you made me 
rest, it did not refresh me ; I was thoroughly broken 
down, and could find no position that gave me any 
comfort, nor could I sleep soundly, so that it was a 
question whether the night or day was the more 

"Prayer was the best remedy for my ills. I 
passed the time of ' the great silence ' in real agony, 
which I united to that of my Divine Master, keeping 
close to Him, pressed against the grille of the choir. 
It was an hour of unmixed suffering, but it won me 
strength for Matins, when I had a certain facility for 
keeping my mind on God. After that, I was as 
powerless as before, and unseen, thanks to the dark- 
ness, crept back to our cell as best I could, often 
leaning against the wall." 

The Mother Prioress adds : " Sister Elizabeth of 
the Trinity was moved to tell me some touching 
details of her life, to which I listened, deeply moved, 
recalling the words of the Apostle : * Oh, the depths 
of the Divine counsels P as I wondered at the ways 
of God with this girl, still so young, yet already 
perfected in virtue. Quoting Sister Teresa of the 
Infant Jesus, she declared that many pages of her 
history would only be read in heaven ; indeed, some 
of them could not be understood in this world, ' but/ 
she said, " ' the mercies of the Lord I will sing for 
ever "* as regards His elect, for we shall see, in the 
light of God, that His will for us was always a will 
of love.' ' 

Alone with the One, our little sister was journeying 
to her Calvary, anxious to complete her supreme 
sacrifice. Had she not for a long time been invited 

* Ps. Ixxxviii. I. 


to the more intimate union for which that suffering 
prepares us ? Knowing that " there is an inter- 
change of love that takes place on the cross alone," 
she longed to mount it. 

She wrote to her saintly friend in January, 1906 : 
" How strongly one feels the need to sanctify one's 
soul, and to forget self to forward the interests of the 
Church. Poor France ! I love to cover it with the 
Blood of the Just One, * He Who is always living to 
make intercession for us.'* What a sublime mission 
the Carmelite has ! She ought to mediate with Christ, 
to be another humanity, in which He can perpetuate 
His life of reparation, sacrifice, praise, and adoration. 
Pray that I may respond to my vocation, and may not 
abuse the graces He showers upon me. What mis- 
givings I feel about it sometimes! Then I cast myself 
upon Him Whom St. John calls * Faithful and True,' f 
and beg Him to be answerable for my fidelity." 

With such thoughts did she fortify her soul while 
her body grew visibly weaker. After having spoken 
of her family, Sister Elizabeth ends her letter with 
the words : " How full of happiness I felt on return- 
ing to our cell after Mass on Christmas night, as, 
remembering the joys of the past, I said to myself 
with the Apostle : * For Him I have suffered the loss 
of all things.' J Ask Him to make me self-forgetful, 
that I may be immersed in God. The Sunday in 
the Octave of the Epiphany will be the third anni- 
versary of my nuptials with the Lamb, so when you 
consecrate the Host in which Jesus will become 
incarnate, will you consecrate your little child to 
Almighty Love, that He may transform her into the 
' Praise of Glory ?' . . ." 

* Heb. vii. 25. f Apoc. xix. II. I Phil. iii. 8. 


When Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity heard her 
young companions make their plans for Lent, she did 
not feel drawn to contemplate the Saviour's Passion. 
But could she keep to her usual mode of prayer ? 
When she went to her cell after recreation, she 
questioned St. Paul, and on opening his epistles 
haphazard, the first text she lit upon was the passionate 
cry of the great Apostle : " That I may know Him 
. . . and the fellowship of His sufferings, being 
made conformable to His death."* 

She was startled at the words. Was not he, whom 
in her simplicity she termed the " father of her soul," 
announcing her speedy deliverance to her? She 
thought so, and later events soon convinced her that 
she was called to honour the sufferings and death of 
her Divine Master by imitation rather than by devout 

The symptoms of a serious disease of the stomach 
showed themselves towards the middle of Lent, and 
a few days after the feast of her holy patron of 
the year, Sister Elizabeth was installed permanently 
in the infirmary. " I knew St. Joseph would come 
to fetch me this year !" she cried joyfully ; " and he is 
here already I" 

Feeling a presentiment that, unless a miracle 
occurred we should lose the young nun on whom 
we had built so many hopes, we began a regular 
crusade of prayers. The process of the beatification 
of the Venerable Marguerite of the Blessed Sacrament 
was then being brought forward in Rome, f Her 
special devotions were the Mysteries of the Holy 
Infancy and the sorrowful Passion of the Son of God, 

* Phil. iii. 10. 

t A Carmelite nun of Beaune, 1619-1648. 


Who called her His "little bride." A striking 
miracle was required to bring the causQ to a successful 
ending, and we hoped the servant of God would per- 
form it for us, as we recalled the divine favours she 
had won for the Carmel of Dijon in the old days, 
when she held her mystic intercourse with the Infant 
Jesus. One of her relics was worn by our dear little 
invalid until she died, and we made novena after 

But God decreed otherwise, and the " bride of the 
holy Infant Jesus " leant towards her little sister to 
lead her on the way of suffering, which was to stamp 
on Elizabeth, as it had on Marguerite, a resemblance 
to their crucified God. 

We realized it as we watched the progress of the 
disease, while the dear little nun, knowing that she 
was loved with an unspeakable love, was overwhelmed 
with gratitude. " My illness seems to me rather 
mysterious," she said ; <C I call it Move's ailment,' since 
it is He Who is tormenting and wearing me away. 
I give myself up and am resigned to it, for I rejoice 
beforehand in whatever He will do to me." 

Palm Sunday brought her a welcome relief and 
solace. She had a fainting fit in the evening which 
so rapidly increased her weakness that we thought it 
best for her to receive the Sacrament of Extreme 
Unction. The crisis was past when the priest 
entered the infirmary. He asked her whether she 
willingly accepted her sufferings. " Oh, yes !" she 
answered : " I am glad to suffer." She received the 
Sacrament of Extreme Unction with touching devo- 
tion, as a fresh consecration to suffering of whose 
" Divine dispensation " she was to receive so large a 
share. How beautiful she looked, as with lustrous 


eyes, and clasped hands, she held her profession 
crucifix, exclaiming again and again : " O Love ! 
Love! Love!"* 

She had the happiness of receiving the Holy 
Viaticum, a touching coincidence with St. Teresa's 
account of how she always prepared herself specially 
for her Communion of Palm Sunday as a tender 
attention to her Master. The saint grieved at seeing 
that, though the Jews of Jerusalem strewed palm 
branches on His path, yet there was not one who 
offered Him food and shelter for the night. She 
watched Him on His way to Bethany, and, troubled 
at the thought of His weariness, she begged Him to 
stay within her heart and take some rest.t Sister 
Elizabeth, who shared this devotion, had felt very 
disappointed at not receiving Holy Communion in 
the morning, but now she was fully rewarded. At 
the very hour of the evening in which our Lord had 
asked His friends at Bethany to compensate for the 
forgetfulness of His people, He had come to repose 
in her heart and in her suffering love in His little 
house. The happy little nun could not find words 
to express her bliss next day. 

Later on she wrote : " I have been in the infirmary 
since the end of March, with nothing to do but to 
love God. A dangerous crisis occurred in my illness 
on Palm Sunday, and I thought the hour had come 
for me to enter eternity and contemplate the Blessed 
Trinity unveiled. I received Extreme Unction and 

* " How sweet death is in Carmel 1" exclaimed the priest as 
he left the convent. " If I were younger I would become a 
religious." Our account is supplemented by his letter to Madame 
Catez, printed at the end of this volume. See Appendix. 

t " Histoire de sainte Thc"rese d'apres les Bollandistcs," chap. 
zx. Also Relation N, 5. Baker, 1911. 


the visit of my Divine Master in the calm and 
silence of that night, and it seemed as if He were 
waiting that moment to break my bonds. The days 
I spent expecting the great Vision baffle description. 
Our Reverend Mother kept beside me, preparing me 
to meet the Bridegroom, and my longing to go to 
Him made Him seem tardy. How sweet and gentle 
death is for those who have loved none but Him, 
and who, as the apostle says, * look not at the things 
which are seen . . . for the things which are seen 
are temporal : but the things which are not seen are 

These days which " baffled description " were a 
real ascent of Mount Calvary for Sister Elizabeth of 
the Trinity ; acute pain, added to her already very 
suffering state, gave her a more intimate share in the 
Mystery we were celebrating. Absorbed in the con- 
templation of " Christ in anguish " she kept herself 
united to Him as a gentle victim who rejoiced to 
have been chosen for the sacrifice. Her patience 
never failed for a moment, and her self-surrender was 
complete. When she was told that an operation had 
been decided upon, she said with a quiet smile : 
" Yes ! An operation the doctors talk of nothing 
else ; however, they may do what they like with me. 
I leave myself in their hands as in the hands of God." 
When a contrary decision was arrived at a few days 
later, she accepted it with the same simplicity. 
Having, as it were, passed from self into God, her 
peace was truly heavenly. 

Her family asked for two consultations during her 
illness. "While the doctors were deliberating to- 
gether," she said afterwards, "I united myself to the 
* 2 Cor. iv. 1 8. 


Divine Master before the tribunals when the judges 
were debating whether He should live or die." 

Her sufferings and exhaustion were so severe that 
on Good Friday we thought she was dying. Thank 
God, our fears were not realized ! Next night, she 
felt as if some change was being worked within her, 
and in the morning she was evidently better. Her 
infirmarians found her kneeling on her bed, though 
for the last week she had been incapable of any 
movement. Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity took a 
little nourishment, although previously unable to 
swallow, and, saying that she was cured, she asked 
to be allowed to go down to the choir for the great 
Office of Holy Saturday. It would have been im- 
possible for her, yet we hoped soon to see her among 
us again, and our Alleluias were sung in hearty 
thanksgiving. Eastertide had never been more 
joyful for us. 

No one had a greater share in our happiness than 
the poor mother, as she knelt in our chapel and 
thanked God for having preserved the daughter 
she thought never to have seen again in this 

Their last interview before Lent had given her no 
warning of the severe trial awaiting her. Her loving 
child had carefully concealed the real state of her 
health from Madame Catez, who was ill herself and 
required great care. Lent passed without anyone 
daring to tell the latter of the rapid progress of the 
malady, the existence of which she knew nothing. 
When she was informed of the real state of affairs 
on the Monday of Holy Week, her faith inspired 
her with the courage needed to bear the cross im- 
posed upon her, the pain of which was increased by 


her enforced separation from the child she loved so 
dearly. The depth of her Christian feeling appeared 
in her beautiful letter to Sister Elizabeth, who read 
and re-read it continually, and replied as follows : 


" I never felt so near you. Your letter has 
been a solace and a joy to me. I have kissed it as a 
relic, and thanked the good God for having given me 
such a matchless mother. If I had gone to heaven, 
how I should have kept beside you ! I should never 
have left you, and should have made you feel that 
your Elizabeth was close to you. 

" As I know you will understand me, I will own 
to you in confidence what a deep disappointment it 
was not to go to Him I love so dearly. Think what 
an Easter Day your daughter would have spent in 
heaven ! . . . But that was self-love, and now I 
obey and ask to be cured. I do so in union with 
you, Marguerite, and my dear little angels, whom I 
should have delighted in protecting had I taken my 

" If you only knew how kind our Mother is ! She 
is a real mamma to your daughter ; and I assure you 
that, on the night of my crisis, I needed to hear her 
voice and feel her hand in mine, glad as I was to go 
to God, for, in spite of that, it is a solemn moment : 
one feels so little and so empty-handed." 

Canon A joined us in storming heaven with 

prayers that the life might be prolonged of the 
saintly young nun who opened her heart to him in 
return for his fatherly letter : " I know that I can 
tell everything to you, who have always been my 


confidant. My soul is filled with joy at the thought 
that I shall soon gaze on the unspeakable beauty of 
Him Whom I love, and shall be immersed in the 
Blessed Trinity. Oh, how dear it would cost me to 
come back to the world which seems so vile to me 
after my lovely dream ! God alone is perfectly pure 
and holy. Fortunately, we can dwell in Him even 
in this our earthly exile. However, my Master's 
pleasure is mine : I yield myself to Him to do as 
He pleases with me. 

" Will you. His priest, consecrate me to Him as 
a little sacrifice 'of praise, who desires to glorify Him 
either in heaven, or in the midst of as much suffering 
in this world as He chooses. ... If I go, you 
will help to free me from purgatory. How clearly 
I realize how miserable and stained with sin I am in 
every way ! I need my kind Mother to rid myselt 
of it. She comes to make her thanksgiving every 
morning beside my little bed. I communicate, too, 
within her soul, and the same love flows into the soul 
of both Mother and daughter. * She prays so fer- 
vently that I may be cured, that I ask her to let me 
go and be her guardian angel in heaven. How 
much I should pray there for you, too ; it would 
delight me to do something for my dear Canon ! 

" Good-bye ; it is sweet to wait the coming of the 
Bridegroom. Pray for me, that I may be completely 

* At the beginning of Sister Elizabeth's illness the Mother 
Prioress used to come and make her thanksgiving beside the bed 
of the little invalid, to console her for being deprived of frequent 
Communion. It was a great comfort to the dear child, who 
used to prepare herself for these morning visits as if she were 
really about to receive the hidden God Whom she adored within 
the soul of her Mother. She used to call this time the sunshine 
of her day. 


surrendered to Him in the suffering He sends me, 
and that, even here, I may live for love alone." 

The improvement in Sister Elizabeth's health con- 
tinued, but as she was still too weak to go to the 
parlour, she wrote to console her family. 


" Your little invalid wants to speak to you 
from her heart, that heart so full of tenderness 
for you. 

" I know that you are ill, and my kind Mother 
inside the convent, who is always near me, tells me 
all about your health. You cannot imagine what 
care she lavishes upon me, with all the tenderness 
and delicacy of a mother. How happy I am alone 
in my little infirmary ! My Master is here with 
me, and we live heart to heart, day and night. I 
appreciate the happiness of being a Carmelite more 
than ever, and I pray to God for the darling mother 
who gave me to Him. I have been drawn nearer 
heaven since this illness ; I will tell you all about it 
some day. 

" Oh mother ! let us prepare for eternity ; let us 
live with Him, for He alone can accompany and 
help us on this great journey. He is the God of 
love ; we cannot understand how dearly He loves 
us above all, when He sends us trials." 

She was afraid to tell all to her mother, who would 
have been injured by any strong emotion, but spoke 
unreservedly to her sister. 

" I do not know whether the hour has come for 
me to pass from this world to my Father, for I am 
much better, and the little saint of Beaune seems to 


wish to cure me. Yet at times it seems as if the 
Divine Eagle were about to swoop down upon His 
little prey and carry it off to where He lives in the 
realms of dazzling light. 

"You have always forgotten your own interests 
when your Elizabeth's happiness was concerned, and 
I am sure that if I go, you will rejoice at the thought 
of my first meeting with Divine Beauty. When the 
veil falls, how gladly shall I pass to Him, into the 
very ' secret of His face !' There shall I spend my 
eternity, in the bosom of the Trinity, where I dwell 
already in this life. 

" Only think, Marguerite, what it will be to con- 
template the splendour of the Divine Being in His 
own light ; to penetrate all the depths of His mystery ; 
to be one with Him we love ; to sing unceasingly of 
His glory and His love ; to * be like Him, because 
we shall see Him as He is !'* 

" Little sister, I shall rejoice to go to heaven to 
be your angel there, and I shall be zealous for the 
beauty of your soul that I love dearly even in this 

" I leave you my devotion to * the Three.' Live 
with Them in the heaven of your soul ; the Father 
will overshadow you, making a cloud between you 
and the things of this world, to keep you all His 
own. He will communicate His power to you, so 
that you will love Him with a love as strong as 
death. The Word will imprint in your soul, as in a 
crystal, the image of His own beauty, and you will 
be pure with His purity, luminous with His light. 
The Holy Spirit will transform you into a mystic 
lyre. Beneath His divine touch your silence will 
* I St. John iii. 2. 


send forth a magnificent canticle of love. Then you 
will be the praise of His glory as I dreamt that I 
should be in this world. You will take my place. 
I shall be laudem gloria before the throne of the 
Lamb, and you will be laudem glori<e in the centre 
of your soul. So shall we be united throughout 

" Always keep your faith in the love of God. If 
you have to suffer, it will be because you are more 
deeply loved ; so whatever happens, love and chant 
your thanksgiving. 

" Teach the little ones to live in the sight of God. 
I should like Elizabeth to have my devotion to the 
Holy Trinity. I shall be present at their first Com- 
munion, and will help you to prepare them for it 

"You must pray for me. I have offended my 
Master more than you think. But, above all, thank 
Him, and say a Gloria every day. Forgive me for 
the bad example I have often set you. 

" Farewell ! How I love you ! Perhaps I shall 
soon go to the home of love. What does it matter ? 
Let us live in love, and to glorify Love, whether we 
are in heaven or on earth ! . . ." 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity spoke the truth : 
the Divine Eagle was about to swoop down upon 
His prey, to bear it away to the regions of eternal 
light. Marguerite of the Blessed Sacrament did not 
finish the work she had begun. She had shown her 
interest in our cause by dispelling all idea of an 
operation, but was it not best for our little sister to 
hasten her flight towards the end for which she 
longed so fervently ? 

During May her life was again in danger through 
a second crisis. " Heaven seemed opened again !" 


she cried ; " and you prayed so ardently that I am 
still a prisoner, but a happy prisoner who praises the 
love of her Lord day and night within her heart. 
He is so good ! Anyone would suppose that He 
had no one to love or think about but me, from the 
way in which He gives Himself to my soul. He 
does so that I, in my turn, may give myself to Him 
for His Church and His interests ; that 1 may care for 
His honour, like my holy Mother St. Teresa. 
Oh, pray for me, that I, too, may be Charitatis 
Victim* r* 

* Hymn for the Office of St. Teresa. 



The altar of" sacrifice Past and present A touching interview 
Letters The glories of Carmel A royal palace. 

victim of Divine love. While we made our novenas, 
she remained bound upon the altar of sacrifice, fully 
convinced that our prayers would not wrest her 
from it. "* I rejoice in my sufferings,'" she said with 
St. Paul, " * and fill up those things that are wanting 
of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh.'* Yes, 1 am 
glad to take part in the work of redemption ; I 
suffer, as it were, a continuation of the Passion 
' That I may know Him . . . and the fellowship of 
His sufferings, being made conformable to His 
death,' "t she repeated incessantly, applying to herself 
the word of the great Apostle which had struck her 
so forcibly at the beginning of Lent. 

We have watched her, since the impression made 
upon her by her first confession, in her persistent 
warfare against herself ; then, drawn by the Spouse 
of virgins, giving Him her heart at their first meet- 
ing ; again, after her vow at the age of fourteen, 
withdrawing into herself to realize the gift of God 
within her ; finally, establishing herself, by the light 

* Col. i. 24. t Phil. iii. 10. 



of faith, in union with the Three Divine Persons. 
Such shall we see her still, in this last phase, as, true 
to her guiding light, she gazes on the cross and com- 
pletes her transformation into Jesus crucified. 

"I have never been so happy as since God has 
deigned to let me share the pangs of the Divine 
Master," she wrote. In a letter to her mother she 
says : " You fear that I am destined to be a victim 
of suffering ; I beg you not to grieve over what 
would be so beautiful a lot. I feel unworthy of it ! 
Think what it would be to take part in the agony of 
my crucified Bridegroom ; to go to my passion with 
Him ; to share His work of redemption ! . . ." 

The Mother Prioress, fearing that Sister Elizabeth 
of the Trinity would never be able to walk again, 
had her carried into the parlour to console her rela- 
tives. The meeting was very touching. Madame 
Catez could not take her eyes off the emaciated but 
radiant face of her dearly-loved daughter, who did 
not conceal her regret at having come back to life. 
She asked to see her mother and sister separately, 
urged them to sanctify their souls, and prepared them 
for the coming sacrifice by leading them to where 
she dwelt herself beneath the divine Light which 
had been the joy, as well as the sanctity, of her 

The letters, which were often obliged to supply 
the place of interviews behind the grille, allow us to 
read Sister Elizabeth's soul during the last stages of 
her illness. 

" What a consolation it is to be able to open my 
soul to my mother, and to feel that hers is at one 
with mine !" she wrote, after seeing her in the 
parlour. " I feel as if my love for you were not 



only that of a child for the best of mothers, but that 
of a mother for a child as well. I am the little 
mother of your soul. You consent, do you not ? 
We are going into retreat for Pentecost I into a 
more thorough retreat than the rest, alone as I am in 
my little cenacle. I am asking the Holy Spirit to 
reveal to you the presence of God within you of 
which I spoke. You may believe what I said, for it 
is not my own idea. If you read the Gospel of 
St. John you will see that the Divine Master con- 
stantly insists upon this commandment : * Abide 
in Me, and I in you.'* And again : c If anyone 
love Me ... My Father will love him, and We will 
make Our abode with him.'t 

" St. John, in his epistles, hopes that we shall have 
' fellowship ' with the Blessed Trinity : what a sweet 
and simple term to use ! St. Paul says that to believe 
is sufficient. 'God is a Spirit,' J and it is by faith 
that we approach Him. Realize that your soul is 
1 the temple of God,' as St. Paul teaches : the Three 
Divine Persons dwell within it during every instant 
of the day and night. You do not possess the Sacred 
Humanity except when you receive Holy Communion, 
but the Divinity, the Essence which the blessed adore 
in heaven, resides within your soul. When once we 
realize this, a most delightful intimacy is established, 
and we are never again alone." 

Madame Catez, who was going to Paris to be 
present at the ceremonies following the beatification 
of the sixteen Martyrs of Compiegne, received the 
following lines : 

" Your Carmelite's soul will take part with your 

* St. John xv. 4. t St. John xiv. 23. 

j St. John iv. 24. 


own in the triduum of our blessed Martyrs. What a 
joy it would be to your daughter if she too could 
offer God the witness of her blood ! Then it would 
be worth while to have stayed on earth and seen her 
dream of heaven fade away ! But what I want of 
Him above all things is the martyrdom of love 
which consumed my holy Mother Teresa, and since 
Truth Himself has declared that the greatest proof 
of love is to give our life for him we love, I give 
Him mine, which has long been His, that He may 
do as He wills with it. If I am not a martyr of 
blood, I wish to be a martyr of love. Dear mother, 
let us love God, and live with Him as with one 
we love, from whom we cannot be separated. Tell 
me if you are becoming more recollected, for I care 
immensely for your soul. Remember the words of 
the Gospel : ' The kingdom of God is within you.'* 
Enter this little kingdom to adore the Monarch Who 
resides in it as in His own palace. He has such 
Jove for us ! He has given you many a proof of it 
by asking you often, on your path of life, to help 
Him bear His cross. 

" P.S. Do not forget to pray while you are in the 
train on Thursday. I remember that it is a very 
good time for prayer." 

" You must erase the word * discouragement ' from 
your dictionary of love," she wrote to her sister. 
" The greater your weakness and difficulty in recol- 
lecting yourself and the more our Lord seems 
hidden, the more joyful you ought to be, for then 
you are giving to Him, and when we love, is it not 
better to give than to receive ? 

" God said to St. Paul : * My grace is sufficient 
* St. Luke xvii. 21. 


for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity.'* 
The great Saint had mastered that truth, for he says: 
4 Gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities, 
that the power of Christ may dwell in me.'t 

" What does it matter what we feel ? It is He 
Who is unchangeable ; He loves you to-day as He 
loved you yesterday and will love you to-morrow, 
even if you have grieved Him. Remember, f deep 
calleth on deep !'| The abyss of your misery 
attracts the abyss of His mercy. God has made me 
understand this truth, and we must share it between 
us. He has also drawn me strongly to suffering and 
to self-surrender : is not that the crowning-point of 
love ? Let us lose no sacrifice ; there are so many 
we can make in the day. You have many oppor- 
tunities with the babies. Oh ! give them all to the 
good Master ! Do you not find that affliction binds 
us more closely to Him ? So, if He takes away 
your sister, it will be to give Himself more to you. 
Help me to prepare for eternity : I do not think my 
life will last much longer. You love me well enough 
to be glad that I am going to rest where I have 
lived so long. I like to tell you these things, ' little 
echo of my soul.' 1 am selfish, for perhaps I shall 
grieve you, yet I want to lift you above all that can 
die . . . into the bosom of infinite Love. That is 
the fatherland of the two little sisters: there they 
will meet to part no more. 

" Oh, Marguerite ! as I write to you this evening 
my heart is overflowing ; I feel the * exceeding 
charity ' of my Master, and I wish I could put my 
soul within your own, that you might always believe 
in this charity above all, in your hours of deepest 
* 2 Cor. xii. 9. t Ibid. % Ps. xli. 8. 


trial. When you wake in the night, unite your- 
self to your Elizabeth. I should like to ask you to 
come to me here ; there is such silence and mystery 
about this little cell, with its white walls on which 
hangs the bare cross of black wood. It is mine, the 
cross on which I ought to immolate myself each 
moment so as to resemble my crucified Bridegroom! 
I am the good God's little recluse ; I love solitude 
with * the One,' and lead a delightful hermit's life. 
I, too, am often incapable of doing what I wish ; I 
need to seek my Master Who hides carefully from 
me. Then I arouse my faith, and am content to 
relinquish the joy of His presence to give Him the 
joy of my love. 

" I have been thinking of the Feast of St. 
Margaret for a long while, and I shall try to do 
more for you than anyone does, for I shall give you 
nothing perishable, but what is Divine and eternal. 
I am preparing for the day by a great novena. Every 
morning I say Sext for you, which is the hour con- 
secrated to the Word, in order that He may so 
stamp His likeness in your soul that you may be 
another Christ. Then I give you None, which I 
dedicate to the Father, that He may own you as His 
beloved daughter ; that with the * might of His 
arm '* He may lead you in all your ways, and may 
turn your steps more fully towards that abyss 
wherein He dwells, in which He wishes to be 
hidden with you. 

" Farewell ! May the ' Three ' bless my three 
little offerings^ and make their heaven and the place 
of their rest within each of them ! O Abyss ! O 
Love ! This is our chant on our lyres as being the 
praise of glory, and this shall finish my letter." 
* Ps. Ixxxviii. 14. 


"June, 1906. 

" It is I, myself, who am telling my dearest 
mother that her little invalid still feels better. She 
has more strength for sitting up in bed, her head is 
fairly strong, but her legs will not support her, other- 
wise I think she would be able to do something for 
herself. Her infirmarians eagerly supply all her 
wants most charitably and affectionately. 

" Our Mother gave me the great pleasure to-day 
of hearing Mass from the tribune and of spending a 
full hour afterwards before the Blessed Sacrament. 
I was nearly on a level with Him, like a queen at the 
right hand of her spouse. 

" I spent a great part of yesterday on the terrace. 
As it is near the choir I could hear Benediction. Our 
Mother herself led me there. I tell her sometimes 
that she takes so much care of me that she stops my 
going to heaven. 

" Your letter was very interesting. How beauti- 
ful the ceremonies of our blessed Martyrs must have 
been, and how thankful you ought to be to the good 
God for having led me to the Mountain of Carmel, 
an Order made illustrious by so many saints and 
martyrs !" 

How she loved her Order ! She felt a holy pride 
in belonging to it, and was delighted when a vocation 
commended to her prayers was fulfilled, as the 
following letter to a Carmelite novice shows. 

" I thank Him, Who has willed to unite us so 
closely in Himself, for having. ' exalted you with His 
right hand/* and led you to Mount Carmel, which 
is lighted with the rays of the Sun of Justice. There, 
in the track of our holy Mother Teresa and all the 
* Ps. cxvii. 1 6. 


saints of our Order, our two souls, called by the 
Master to Himself, ought to be transformed into 
the * praise of glory ' of which St. Paul speaks. 

" * With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord 
God of Hosts!'* This device of all our saints made 
our holy Mother a ' victim of charity,' as we sing in 
her beautiful Office. It seems as if the good God 
were leaving me on earth that I, too, may be a victim 
of love, zealous for His honour. Will you obtain 
grace for your sister to fulfil this divine plan ; she, 
like you, longs to become a saint, that she may give 
glory to her adored Master. 

" St. Paul, whose magnificent epistles I read con- 
stantly, says that God { chose us in Him before the 
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and 
unspotted in His sight in charity. 'f Has not Elias, 
who exclaimed in the fervour of his faith : * As the 
Lord liveth, the God of Israel, in Whose sight I 
stand !' J left this living in the Divine presence as the 
heritage of the children of Carmel ? If you are 
willing, our souls, traversing space, will meet to- 
gether to sing this great war-cry of our Father's. 
We will ask him on his feast-day for the gift of 
prayer, which is the essence of the Carmelite life 
the ' heart to heart ' which never ceases, because, 
when we love, we are no longer our own, but are 
given to the beloved, in whom we live more than in 

" Our holy Father, St. John o the Cross, has 
written divinely on this subject in his * Spiritual 
Canticle ' and * Flame of Divine Love.' I delight in 
the solid teaching of his books. 

" It is good news that you are to enter the novitiate, 

* 3 Kings xix. 10. f Eph. {.4. t 3 Kings xvii. I. 


and I beg the Queen of Carmel to give you the 
double spirit of our dear and holy Order : the 
spirit of prayer and penance, for complete self- 
sacrifice and immolation are needed in order to live 
in continual contact with God. Like the saints, 
let us long for suffering, and, above all, let us prove 
our love for God by our fidelity to our holy Rule, 
cherishing a sacred passion for it ; and if we keep it, 
we shall be kept by it, and it will make us saints 
that is, such souls as our seraphic Mother desired 
* who serve God and His Church.' " 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity fed her faith con- 
tinually on the writings of St. Paul, so that even 
during the doctor's visits, which were frequent 
towards the end of her life, she managed to intro- 
duce the subject of the great Apostle. The doctor, 
surprised at her remarks, used to ask as he entered 
the infirmary : " Well, Sister, what does St. Paul 
say to-day ?" " She is wonderful !" he said on 
leaving. "What intelligence and poetry!" His 
admiration was particularly excited by the heroic 
courage with which so young a nun bore sufferings 
whose intensity he realized better than anyone else. 
" I never saw such fortitude and serenity in suffering ; 
she is enduring a veritable martyrdom," he remarked 
later on. 

Her ideal for which she had so generously striven 
sustained her in this martyrdom. " I want to reach 
heaven not only with the purity of an angel," she 
confided to the Mother Sub-Prioress, "but trans- 
formed into Jesus crucified. Suffering has a growing 
attraction for me; the desire of it almost overmastered 
the Lord of Heaven, strong as He is." 

She wrote to one who could understand her 


feelings : " David said of Jesus, ' His sorrow is 
immense.' I have made my home in this immensity 
the royal palace in which I dwell with my crucified 
Spouse.* I choose it for a trysting-place with you, who 
appreciate the happiness of suffering and know how 
to look on it as a revelation of * exceeding charity.' 
Oh, how I love it ! It has become my peace, my 
repose. Pray God to increase my capacity for pain." 
She wrote to her mother : " The good God takes 
pleasure in immolating His little victim (hostie)^ 

* One day Sister Elizabeth put in the Prioress' cell a little 
card with a picture of a fortress with a drawbridge. Near the 
closed door was pasted a print of our Lady of Lourdes as Janua 
cceli. We shall see later on the reason for this name. From 
one corner of the embattled tower floated a small flag with the 
device : " Fortress of pain and holy recollection, the dwelling of 
Laudem Gltrue while awaiting her entrance into her Father's 
house." Beneath the drawbridge were written the following 
lines : 

" ' Where shall we find the Master Y wrote a saint. 
' Where is His home, save in the midst of pain ?' 
There would I dwell, my Mother and my Priest, 
To magnify the cross where He was slain. 

" But yet I need thee, 'neath thy shelt'ring wing 
To enter this fair palace of my Lord, 
This fortress, the strong citadel of God, 
Which to the soul doth changeless peace afford. 

" David hath sung : ' Christ's sorrow is immense !' 
In this immensity my home I make ; 
In sacred silence, self I immolate, 
Transformed into love's victim for His sake." 

I Here, as elsewhere, the word " hostie " is used, which in 
French signifies the Sacred Host in the Mass as well as an ordinary 
victim. The word " victim " or " sacrifice " does not render the 
meaning of this passage in the original. TRANSLATOR. 


but the Mass He is saying with me, of which His 
love is the priest, may last some time longer. The 
victim (hostie) does not find it long in the hands of 
Him Who sacrifices her. She can say that, though 
she treads the track of suffering, she is the more set 
upon the road of happiness, of truth, of Him Whom 
no one can take from her, dearest mother. Your 
motherly heart ought to leap for joy at the thought 
that the Master has deigned to choose your daughter, 
your own child, to aid Him in His great work of 
redemption ; that He has signed her with the seal of 
the cross, and suffers in her as an extension of His 
Passion. The bride belongs to the Bridegroom ; 
mine has taken me for His own. He wishes me to 
be a second humanity in which He can surfer still 
more for His Father's glory and to succour the 
needs of His Church. The thought consoles me 
greatly. Our Mother often speaks of it to me ; I 
shut my eyes and listen, and, forgetting that it is she, 
feel as though the Master were beside me, encourag- 
ing and teaching me how to bear His cross. 

"This kind Mother, so eloquent about self-sacrifice, 
thinks of nothing but relieving my pain, as I often 
say to her ; however, I submit to it like a child. 
Our Lord told St. Teresa that He preferred her 
obedience to the penances of another saint, so I take 
Marguerite's little dainties when my stomach allows 
me, and they relieve it more than anything else. 

"I kiss my Master's cross at each fresh pang, 
saying : c 1 thank Thee, but I am not worthy of it,' 
remembering that suffering was the comrade of His 
life, and that I do not deserve that His Father should 
treat me as He treated His Son. 

" A saint, writing of Jesus, said : * Where did He 


dwell, save in anguish ?' * Every soul that is bruised 
by affliction of whatever kind can exclaim to itself : 
' I dwell with Jesus ; we live in intimacy, sheltered 
within the same home.' 

" The saint of whom I speak teaches us that the 
sign which proves that God dwells in us and that 
we are possessed by His love is that we take what 
hurts us not only patiently, but gratefully. To reach 
this state we must long and lovingly contemplate 
Christ crucified ; this contemplation, if genuine, 
must infallibly lead us to a love of suffering. 

" Dear mother, view every trial and contradiction 
you meet with in the light that shines from the cross ; 
thus you will please God and grow in love. Oh, 
thank Him for me ! I am so happy ! I wish I could 
shed some of my happiness on those I love ! 

" Adieu ! I cannot hold my pencil any longer, 
but my heart remains with you. I appoint the 
shadow of the cross as our trysting-place, there to 
learn the science of suffering. 

" Your happy daughter, 


* Sister Elizabeth's soul was wounded afresh with love by this 
saying of St. Angela of Foligno's. I never went near her without 
repeating it, knowing that it would delight her. Then she used 
to speak to me in feeling accents of the Saviour's Passion, and of 
her joy at dwelling with Him through suffering. NOTE BY SISTER 
M . 



The " Angel of Lisieux " A night of grace The Queen of 
Virgins and Martyrs Janua cceli The little tribune 
August 2, 1906 Last retreat. 

SISTER ELIZABETH had expressed her regret at 
returning to life. Her longing aspirations were 
unfavourable to our efforts, and heaven seemed to 
side with her. The Mother Prioress tried to make 
her wish to be cured by persuading her that her 
zealous work for the community would be a proof of 
gratitude for the graces received in religion. Sister 
Elizabeth accepted this view, which struck a tender 
chord in her sensitive heart. But one day, while 
repeating to her Divine Master the obedience she 
had received, she thought she heard, in the centre of 
her soul, the words : " Earthly offices are no longer 
for you," which filled her with peace and joy. Her 
thirst for eternity so increased that she asked her 
Prioress for leave to yield entirely to it, and to stop 
the prayers which opposed her hopes and deferred 
her happiness. They were no longer mentioned in 
her presence, but suspecting that we were continuing 
them secretly, she had recourse to the " Angel of 
Lisieux," for Sister Teresa of the Infant Jesus had 
been home-sick for heaven, and would understand 



her trouble and show her pity. With full confidence 
in Sister Teresa, our little sister asked her, as a 
guarantee against her fears, that she might be able 
to walk. Her prayer was granted, to her great joy, 
and she felt certain she would not recover. 

" My stomach is still refractory," she wrote to her 
mother ; " but only think, I am beginning to walk ! 
I cannot understand it, for I am no stronger than 
when I could not even sit up. 

"The other day, when our Mother came to see 
me, I felt so exhausted that I told her I was going. 
' It would be much better if you would try to walk 
instead of talking like that,' she answered. I love 
to obey her, so when I was alone, I tried to walk by 
the side of the bed, but it hurt me dreadfully. After 
asking Sister Teresa of the Infant Jesus not to cure 
me, but to give me the use of my legs, I was able to 
walk. I am like an old woman doubled up over her 
stick. Our Mother takes me on her arm to the 
terrace.* I am quite proud of my journeys, and am 
longing to show you how I make them ; 1 am sure 
you would laugh, for they are very comic. I am very 
glad to tell you the good news, as I know it will 
please you. 

" Do not grieve about your Elizabeth ; the good 
God will leave her here with you a little longer, and 
when she is in heaven she will watch constantly over 
her mother, the kind mother she loves more dearly 
every day. Oh, darling mother, let us look above ! 
It rests the soul to think that heaven is our Father's 
house ; that we are expected there as if we were 
dearly-loved children returning home after exile, and 

* A passage open to the air, connecting the {two wings of the 
convent, which is used as a promenade by the sick. 


that He makes Himself our travelling companion to 
lead us there." 

We never cross that little terrace without picturing 
Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity as she sat there, 
especially in the early morning, when she came to 
refresh her poor head, worn out by sleeplessness. 
She had hardly reached her armchair and thanked 
her dear infirmarian with a smile, when her eyes 
closed, and she seemed lost to all around her. 
" Laudem Gloria is absorbed in contemplation 
again," we said to ourselves ; indeed, she had not 
been distracted from it even during the night. She 
kept her Breviary beside her so as to join in the 
recitation of the little Hours. She held in her arms 
a statuette of our Lady from which she had never 
parted since a certain night when, during her divine 
colloquies, she happened to glance at a picture on 
the wall which represented the Mother of Sorrows. 
Touched at the sight, she felt conscious of an 
affectionate reproach and a tender, maternal urging 
to ask more of a mother's love. She owned to 
having thought less frequently of the Blessed Virgin 
for some time past, but since then her devotion to 
the Mother of heaven had redoubled. She asked 
her mother to give her a statuette of our Lady of 
Lourdes, from which she remembered having received 
many favours as a young girl, so that she who had 
" kept " her " coming in " might also " keep " her 
"going out."* From that time she always called 
our Lady Janua cceli. 

After this nocturnal visit the invalid wrote : " The 
Queen of Virgins is the Queen of Martyrs too ; but 
the sword transpierced her heart, for with her all 
passed within her soul. 

* Ps. cxx. 8. 


" Oh, how beautiful she is in her long martyrdom ! 
how majestic in her strength and sweetness ! It is 
because she learnt from the Word Himself how 
those whom the Father selects as victims, those 
whom He chooses as associates in the great work of 
the Redemption, ought to suffer. 

" She is there, at the foot of the cross, standing, 
strong and valiant, and my Master says to me, ' Ecce 
Mater tua'* He has given her to me for my 
Mother. And now that He has returned to the 
Father, and has put me in His place on the cross, 
our Lady is there to teach me to suffer as He 

" When I have said my Consummatum est, it will 
be she, Janua cceli^ who will introduce me into the 
eternal courts, whispering to me the mysterious 
words : ' Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi, 
in domum Domini ibimus.'"f Meanwhile, Sister 
Elizabeth of the Trinity entrusted the Queen of 
Angels with the custody of the entrance to her heart, 
which was already heaven on earth. 

" To-day I gave you with all my heart to our 
Lady," she wrote to her sister on the Feast of Mount 
Carmel : " I never was so fond of you before. I 
weep for joy at remembering that the Blessed Virgin, 
full of peace and light as she is, is my Mother. I 
delight in her beauty, being her child, and feel a 
daughter's pride in it. I am strongly attracted to 
her, and have made her queen and guardian of my 
heaven and of yours, too, for I do everything for 
both of us together." 

* St. John xix. 27. 

t Ps. cxxi. I. Extract from the short retreat mentioned 
later on. 


Janua cceli became the " wall and the bulwark " 
of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity's favourite sanc- 
tuaries, so that we often found the little statuette 
on the threshold of a small tribune which overlooked 
the chapel. We knew when we saw the figure of 
the Immaculate Conception that our little sister must 
be near. 

" I make long visits to my Master several times a 
day," she wrote to her mother, " and thank Him for 
enabling me to walk to Him. What a joy it is to 

It was indeed a great consolation to her to be 
able to reach the infirmary tribune. How often 
Mother Prioress found her there, bent double with 
pain ! One day, when it was too dark to see her, 
the Prioress called her by her favourite name, 
" Laudem Gloria" The poor child, who was 
huddled together with suffering, tried to sit up, and 
with tearful eyes but smiling face answered : " 1 
came to take refuge in my Master's prayer, for I 
need His Divine strength ; I am suffering so 

The same thing often happened. " I met her one 
day on the landing of the infirmary, looking like a 
ghost," relates one of the nuns. " I asked her for 
some information, which she gave with her usual 
sweetness, as if she were quite well. I heard after- 
wards that she was on her way to the tribune to seek 
for strength to endure an almost unbearable attack. 

"I often looked up at the tribune on passing it, 
but it seemed empty. Unless quite close to it, our 
dear little sister, crouched on the ground in a dark 
corner, could not be seen. She seemed to me a 
personification of prayer and pain." 


The state of the little invalid grew worse ; she 
found more difficulty every day in taking any food. 
Through incessant headache and sleepless nights she 
kept up her courage by continual prayer. 

" Your dear letter gave me very great pleasure," 
she wrote to her venerable friend. " I like the 
thought of St. Paul you sent me. I think it is 
realized in me, on this little bed, the altar on which 
I immolate myself to Love. Pray that my likeness 
to the adored Image may be more perfect every day. 
The thought haunts me and brings strength to my 
soul in suffering. You have no idea how I feel the 
work of destruction being carried out throughout 
my whole being ! It is the road to Calvary set 
before me, on which I walk joyfully, like a bride, by 
the side of the crucified God. 

" I shall be twenty-six on the eighteenth of this 
month. I do not know whether I am to end this 
year in time or in eternity. I beg you again, as a 
child does its father, to consecrate me at Holy Mass 
as a sacrifice of praise to the glory of God. Oh, 
consecrate me so thoroughly that I may be no more 
my self i but Him, Jesus! and that the Father may 
recognize Him when He looks at me. May I be 
* made conformable to His death,'* and suffer what 
is wanting in His Passion ! Then bathe me in the 
Blood of Christ, that I may be strong with His 
strength. I feel so insignificant, so weak ! 

" Farewell, dear Canon A . I ask you to bless 

me in the name of the Holy Trinity, to Whom I am 
specially dedicated. Will you also consecrate me to 
the Blessed Virgin ? It was she, Mary Immaculate, 
who gave me the habit of Carmel, and I beg her to 

* Phil. iii. 10. 



clothe me with the robe of c fine linen,' * which the 
bride puts on to go to the Supper of the Lamb. 

" P.S. On August 2 I shall have spent five years 
in the religious life." 

On that day, August 2, she wrote the following 
lines to the Reverend Father V : 


" I think that next year I shall keep your 
feast and St. Dominic's in the * kingdom of the 
saints, in light.' This year 1 retire again into the 
centre of my soul to keep your feast there, and I want 
to tell you so. 1 also want to ask you, Reverend 
Father, to pray for me that I may be faithful and 
may climb my Calvary in a way worthy of the bride 
of Christ. ' For whom He foreknew, He also pre- 
destinated to be made conformable to the image of 
His Son.'f How I love this saying of the great 
St. Paul ! It brings peace to my soul. I think 
that, in His ' exceeding charity,' He has ' foreknown,' 
* called,' and 'justified' me,J and while waiting for 
Him to ' glorify ' me, I wish to be the continual 
' praise of His glory.' Father, ask this of Him for 
your little daughter. Do you remember? Five 
years ago to-day I knocked at the door of Carmel, 
and you were there to bless my entrance into solitude. 
Now I am knocking at the 'eternal gates,' || and I 
ask you to bend down again and bless my soul on the 
threshold of my Father's house. When I am in the 
great furnace of love, in the bosom of the * Three ' to 
Whom you guided me, I shall not forget all you 

* Apoc. xix. 8. t Rom. viii. 29. 

t Ibid., 29, 30. Ibid., 30. || Ps. xxiii. 7. 


have done for me, and in my turn I long to give 
you to my Father, from Whom I have received so 
much. May I venture to tell you what I wish ? I 
should be so glad to receive a few lines from you, 
showing me how to realize the divine plan for me, 
and to be conformed to Christ crucified. 

" Good-bye, Reverend Father. I beg you to bless 
me in the Name of the ' Three,' and to consecrate me 
to Them as a little * Praise of glory.' ' 

" AugUlt 2. 


" Do you remember this day five years ago ? 
I remember it and so does He ! He has gathered 
up the blood of your heart in a chalice which will 
weigh heavy in the balance of His mercy ! 

" Yesterday I was recalling our last evening 
together, and how, as I could not sleep, I took my 
place by the window and remained there until nearly 
midnight in prayer with my Master. Last night 
was heavenly. The sky was so blue and calm, the 
convent in utter silence . . . and I thought over 
these five years so filled with graces. Dear mother, 
never regret the joy you have given me. Thanks 
to your fiat) I was able to enter this home of sanctity, 
and, alone with God, I have enjoyed a foretaste of 
the heaven to which all my soul is drawn. 

" To-night I have made a second offering of your 
sacrifice of five years ago, that it may rain blessings 
upon her who is dearest to me. Live with Him. 
Ah ! how I wish I could make known to every soul 
what a source of strength, of peace, and of happiness 
as well, they would discover, did they only consent 
to live in this intimacy. But they will not wait. If 
God does not give Himself to them in a way that 


they can feel, they leave His sacred presence, and 
when He comes laden with gifts, He finds no one ; 
the soul has gone out to exterior things, and does 
not dwell within itself. Recollect yourself from 
time to time, dear mother, then you will be quite 
close to your Elizabeth. . . ." 

Our little invalid felt that her end was near, and 
prepared her poor mother, who was also seriously ill, 
for the great sacrifice. 


" How well it is to speak of Him, and to rise 
above all that is passing and that will come to an 
end, especially suffering and separation ... to rise to 
where all is everlasting ! How it consoles your 
Elizabeth to be able to talk to you of her plans for 
eternity ! Do not forget that you promised, at the 
Elevation during holy Mass, to stand at the foot of 
the cross with our Lady, that you may each offer 
God your child together ! 

" How much we need trials to do the work of 
God within our soul ! The good God has an immense 
desire to enrich us with His graces but we regulate 
their measure, which is in proportion to our sub- 
mission to His immolation of us a joyful immola- 
tion, and a thankful one, like that of Jesus, in which 
we say with Him : ' The chalice which my Father 
hath given Me, shall I not drink it ?' * The Divine 
Master called the hour of the Passion ' the cause for 
which He had come 'f and for which He had longed. 
When some great suffering or insignificant sacrifice 
offers itself, let us think at once that this is our hour, 

* St. John xviii. 1 1. f Ibid., xii. 27. 


the hour in which we are to prove our love for Him 
Who has loved us with an ' exceeding charity.' 
Glean them all, darling mother ; offer a large sheaf, 
by never losing the smallest sacrifice. Your offerings 
will each be a ruby in the splendid crown your God 
is preparing for you in heaven. I shall go and help 
Him to make your diadem, and shall come with 
Him, on the day of our great meeting, to place it on 
the head of my dearest mother. 

" Adieu ! Let us love Him in very truth. We 
must draw courage from our union with Him. The 
soul that dwells in His presence is clothed with His 
strength, valiant in suffering." 

At this time Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity was 
fascinated by the beauty of some of the finest 
passages of the Apocalypse, which brought before 
her visions of eternity that drew her towards the 
heights where the Spirit and the bride beckon one 
another. Feeling the need of more complete soli- 
tude, she asked permission to make a retreat which 
she began on August 15 as a preparation for her 
eternal retreat. She announced the good news to 
one of her sisters in the following terms : 

" Janua c&li y ora pro nobis / 

" Laudem Gloria enters her novitiate of heaven 
this evening in preparation for her clothing with the 
habit of glory, and is anxious to recommend herself 

to the prayers of Sister A . I want to learn to 

identify, to conform myself with my adored Master, 
Who was crucified by love. Then I shall be able to 
fulfil my office of * praise of His glory ' and sing 
the eternal Sanctus here while waiting my entrance 
to chant it with the choir of heaven. Sister, let us 


fix our eyes on our Master so that the simple, loving 
gaze of faith may separate us from all else, and may 
set a cloud between us and the things of this world. 
Our inner being is too richly endowed to be possessed 
by any creature. Let us keep all for Him and sing 
to our lyre with David : * I will keep my strength 
to Thee.'"* 

During these days of blessings Sister Elizabeth 
was drawn to Calvary. Her loved Master spoke to 
her, not in words, but by giving her fresh light 
regarding the love hidden in the cross. He showed 
her that her dreams of union would find their realiza- 
tion in suffering. The generous young nun, more 
inflamed with love than ever, was intoxicated with 
the Divine chalice whose bitterness was changed for 
her into unspeakable sweetness. She finished her 
retreat on the Feast of the Dedication of Churches 
of the Order, August 31. Sister Elizabeth, "House 
of God," had a special devotion for Feasts of the 
Dedication ; she renewed her consecration to the 
Three Divine Persons, and her love and zeal for 
their glory. 

A special grace had been reserved for this last 

On the Feast of the Ascension, as the Mother 
Prioress, whose morning visit to the infirmary had 
been delayed, was explaining the matter to the invalid, 
she noticed that her face was transfigured with joy. 

" Oh, Mother !" answered the little nun, " never 
mind about me. The good God has granted me 
such a favour that I have lost all idea of time. 
Early this morning I heard within the depths of my 
soul the sentence : ' If anyone love Me . . . My 

* Ps. Iviii. IO. 


Father will love him, and We will come to him, and 
will make Our abode with him,'* and at the same 
instant I realized its truth. I could not tell you 
how the Three Divine Persons revealed Themselves, 
but I saw Them, holding their counsel of love within 
me, and I seem to see Them still. Oh ! how great 
God is, and how He loves us!" 

"Until that time," adds the Mother Prioress, 
" Sister Elizabeth had hoped that our visits would 
not be postponed ; now she said to me : * Do not 
feel anxious any longer about disappointing me. 
When you cannot come, you will know that I am 
with my Divine Guests. I cannot and ought not to 
care for anything else except to live in intimacy with 
Them. I feel so clearly that They are there,' she 
said, clasping her hands above her heart. 

" Henceforth, whenever I recommended any 
particular intention to her, she used to answer : ' I 
will speak to my Almighty Counsellor,' as, after the 
Feast of the Ascension, she called the Three Divine 

This intimate manifestation of the Holy Trinity 
crowned her life of persevering recollection with the 
, grace of the Mystery which she ceaselessly adored 
within herself, in that centre of our being where 
St. John of the Cross shows It hidden, but carrying 
on Its divine operation. This seems to have been 
the supreme dedication of this little " tabernacle," 
whose translation into the eternal Temple was soon 
to take place ; so that the Feast of August 31, 1906, 
was, above all, a feast of thanksgiving. 

As this would be the last retreat of the daughter 
she so dearly loved, the Mother Prioress said she 
* St. John xiv. 23. 


would like her to note down any striking thought 
that occurred to her. Sister Elizabeth would have 
found it difficult to describe the graces received by 
her from God in the simple, yet profound manner 
of which we have spoken. She guessed what her 
Mother wanted, and left her this keepsake of her 
prized solitude. " The last retreat of Laudem Gloria, " 
she said, as she gave the Prioress, on a certain anni- 
versary, the manuscript prepared with the delicate 
instinct of a daughter's heart. 

At a first glance, the pages, written during a 
course of exhausting and sleepless nights and such 
torturing pain that the poor child felt faint with 
agony, seem only simple notes on what she read in 
the Holy Scriptures, with her personal reflections on 
them ; but they are more than that. Sister Eliza- 
beth told the Mother Prioress one day that she had 
striven in this little manuscript to explain how she 
understood her office of "praise of glory," and 
realized that while on earth we can live the life of 
heaven. This is the leading idea of her retreat as it 
was of her life. While scanning its pages we seem 
to read the predestined soul, which might have 
called them : " Reminiscences of a Soul " (Souvenirs 


Nocturnal Lauds The school of the saints Confidential letters 
Strong advice Thirst for self-abasement Humiliations 
A characteristic letter Life echoed in a letter. 

THE spirit of praise which penetrated Sister Eliza- 
beth of the Trinity made the Office of Lauds her 
especial favourite. When deprived of her much- 
needed sleep, she passed the first hours of the night 
near her little window, where, with eyes gazing into 
the starry sky, her soul mounted with the sacred 
canticles into the presence of the " Three." When 
autumn began with its chilly evenings she was 
obliged to give up her long vigils, yet she used to 
rise for this part of the Divine Office until the last 
week of her life. She declared that it soothed her, 
and brought speedy sleep. She evidently intended 
to give God all she could " extract " from her ex- 
hausted frame. " My Master makes me feel that 
He is pleased with my nightly Lauds, which en- 
courages me to continue them as long as possible," 
she said. Everything in her beautiful soul was 
regulated by faith and charity, whose light made her 
value the most insignificant daily duties. She owned 
one day that the only thing that reconciled her to 



the thought of being cured was her resolution of 
making her self-oblation more entire by keeping the 
most minute details of our holy Rule. The sincerity 
of her determination was shown during her last two 
months of exile by her growing eagerness to keep 
every observance that she possibly could. 

In spite of her declining strength, Sister Elizabeth 
of the Trinity punctually followed the services in 
choir from the infirmary tribune. One night, when 
suffering more than usual and thoroughly exhausted, 
she " felt tempted " to go back to bed. When told 
that she should have done so, and there joined the 
prayers of the community, she replied in impressive 
tones : " I thought it would be cowardly, Mother, 
so I left my armchair and knelt to pray with stronger 
faith on account of my lack of courage. My Master 
strengthened me so divinely that I never found it 
easier to put off resting until after Compline." She 
belonged, indeed, to the school of the saints, who 
seek strength and rest in prolonged sacrifice and 

When anyone tried to ease her pain, she used to 
say : " It is not worth while ; my days are almost 
over. God has taught me that, as I shall soon see 
Him face to face, Laudem Glori<e, far from resting, 
ought to extract from herself all possible prayer and 

In such a frame of mind she found fresh joy in 
every new occasion of self-immolation. The doctors 
tried the stomach-pump, which, as her state of utter 
exhaustion reacted on her nerves, was veritable torture 
to her. " I have often prayed for martyrdom," she 
said ; " I can no longer hope for it, but at least I 
prepare myself in that spirit for these painful opera- 
tions." She fortified herself against her natural dread 


by kissing her crucifix, and then submitted calmly 
and peacefully. 

When asked how she had passed the night, she 
used to answer simply, " As a sick person does," and 
at once began to inquire about the other invalid nuns, 
or to speak of God. Yet her infirmarian used to 
take her Prioress such notes as the following : 

" Eleven o'clock. 
" From the Palace of Pain and Bliss. 

" MOTHER, Your little * Praise of glory ' suffers. 
I cannot sleep, yet how calm my soul feels, in spite 
of my anguish ! Your visit brought me this heavenly 
peace. I long to tell you so, and pray for you inces- 
santly in gratitude. Oh, help me to climb my 
Calvary ! I feel the power of your priesthood over 
my soul so strongly, and have such need of you! 
Mother, I feel my Three so close to me that I am 
more overcome by happiness than by pain. My 
Master has reminded me that pain is my dwelling- 
place, that it is not for me to choose my sufferings. 
I plunge with Him into immense suffering. . . ." 

" September 30. 

" MY DARLING MOTHER, Your little ' Praise of 
glory ' is suffering very, very much ; it is the { ex- 
ceeding charity,' the divine dispensation of pain. 
I think that from now to the ninth I have just 
time to make a novena of suffering for you with my 
Master. Will you be willing to accept it to gratify 
my love ? I have fled for refuge to my Jesus' prayer, 
and confide in His omnipotence." 

" I feel that my will is developed and strengthened 
by suffering," she said, in giving an account of her 
inner life. " Sometimes I used to hesitate before 
doing what was more perfect lest it might annoy any 


of my sisters. Now such fears are powerless to stop 
me ; I am ready to pass through fire to perform the 
will of God more perfectly." 

All her words and writings reveal this virile 
courage. Formerly she drew souls to recollection ; 
now her influence led them to practise the most 
heroic virtues. " When you are blamed," she said 
to a novice who questioned her, " you should not 
only submit, but be glad, and say * Thank you.' ' 
To another : " We must accept our difficulties rather 
than wish to be freed from them ; accepting them 
frees us. In the same way we must be willing to 
undergo the consequences of our faults or faithless- 
ness as being due to God, Who will know how to 
derive from them glory to Himself and profit to 
us. . . ." To another sister she said : " How we 
deceive ourselves regarding genuine union with God ! 
Souls that think they have reached it because they 
enjoy sensible consolations are like children playing 
with ashes that the wind carries away. No, no ! 
True union does not consist in delights, but in priva- 
tion and pain." 

" You know how I love my vocation, my Carmel," 
she said one day to the Mother Sub-Prioress ; " well, 
I so long for abjection that, if our Mother told me I 
was unworthy to wear the holy habit, unworthy of 
being a Carmelite, and drove me away, I believe I 
should be overwhelmed with joy at being treated as 
I deserve." 

" Oh ! if you only knew what heavenly days 1 
spend !" she wrote to a friend. " I am growing 
weaker, and I feel that it will not be long before the 
Divine Master comes to fetch me. I know and 
experience joys hitherto unknown to me. How sweet 


and soothing are the joys of suffering ! I hope that 
before I die, I shall be transformed into Jesus 
crucified, and the thought brings me strength in my 
pain. Our sole ideal should be to conform ourselves 
to this Divine Model. What fervour we should bring 
to our self-sacrifice and self-contempt, were our eyes 
always turned on Him ! Jesus Christ dwelt in 
sorrow during the thirty-three years He passed on 
earth, and He shares His lot only with privileged 
souls. What inexpressible joy it is to think that the 
Father has predestinated me ' to be made conform- 
able to the image of His Son '!* St. Paul has made 
known to us this Divine election, which seems to be 
my lot. 

" The good God has made me see many things by 
the light of eternity, and I wish to tell you, as coming 
from Him, not to fear sacrifice and struggle, but 
rather to rejoice at it. Do not feel sad or dis- 
couraged if your nature wars upon you or is the 
field of battle ; I would even say, love your own 
misery, for it is the subject of God's mercy. When 
the sight of it saddens you or throws you back on 
self, the cause is self-love. In times of discourage- 
ment take refuge in the prayer of the Divine 
Master ; He saw you and prayed for you on the 
cross. This prayer of His lives and is present 
eternally before His Father ; it is that which will save 
you from your miseries. The more you realize 
your weakness, the more confident you should feel, 
for then you depend on Him alone." 

Her little friend N , who had not heard from 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity for several months, 

was deeply grieved at the thought of no longer 

receiving the advice and encouragement which had 

* Rom. viii. 29. 


so greatly helped her. The warm-hearted invalid 
drew strength from her affection to answer the young 
girl's many questions in the following beautiful letter, 
the echo of her own life : 

" At last Elizabeth has come with her pencil to be 

close to her little N ; I say * with her pencil,' for 

we have been together, heart to heart, long ago, have 
we not ? How fond I am of these evening meetings ! 
They are the prelude to the intercourse there will be 
between our souls when I am in heaven and you on 
earth. I feel as if I bent over you like a mother 
over her favourite child. I raise my eyes and look 
at God ; then I lower them on you, shedding on 
you the rays of His love. I say nothing to Him, 
but He understands me and prefers my silence. My 
darling child ! I should like to be a saint to help 
you while on earth until I can do so from Paradise. 
What would I not suffer to obtain for you the 
needed grace of fortitude ! 

" Now I will answer your questions. Let us 
speak first of humility. I have read splendid 
passages on this subject. A devout writer says that 
* the humble soul finds its keenest joy in the feeling 
of its powerlessness before God.' Dear little friend, 
pride is not a thing that can be destroyed with the 
blow of a sword. No doubt some heroic acts of 
humility, such as we see in the lives of the saints, 
weaken it considerably, if they do not cause its 
death, but we have to slay it every instant. ' I die 
daily !' cried St. Paul.* This doctrine of dying to 
self the law for every Christian soul ever since 
Christ said : * If any man will come after Me, let 
him deny himself and take up his cross daily 't this 
* i Cor. xv. 31. t St. Luke ix. 23. 


doctrine, which seems so austere, is sweet and 
delightful when we consider that this death puts the 
life of God in the place of our life of sins and 
miseries. That is what St. Paul meant when he 
wrote : ' Stripping yourselves of the old man with 
his deeds and putting on the new . . . according to 
the image of Him that created him.'* This image is 
God Himself. Do you not remember how plainly 
He expressed it on the day of creation : * Let us 
make man to Our image and likeness' ? f 

u If we reflect seriously upon our origin, the 
things of this world will seem so petty that we shall 
despise them. St Peter wrote in one of his 
epistles that we are ' made partakers of the Divine 
nature. 'I 

" The soul that realizes its own grandeur enters 
* the liberty of the glory of the children of God ' 
that is, it passes beyond all things, self included. 

" St. Augustine says that we have two cities 
within us the city of God and the city of self ; as 
the one is enlarged, the other will be destroyed. A 
soul that lived in faith in the presence of God, which 
had the single eye of which Christ speaks in the 
Gospel that is, a pure intention, aiming solely at 
God, directed solely to God would also be a humble 
soul. It would recognize what were the gifts He 
had bestowed on it, for humility is truth, but would 
appropriate nothing to self, referring all to God as 
did our Lady. The movements of pride you feel 
within you only become faults when your will con- 
sents to them ; they may cause you great suffering, 
but they do not offend the good God. The faults 
into which you tell me you slip inadvertently no 

* Col. iii. 9, 10. t Gen. i. 26. 

J 2 St. Pet i. 4. Rom. viii. 21. 


doubt denote self-love, but that, dear little friend, is 
part of everyone's nature. What God wants of you 
is, never wilfully to dwell upon any thought of pride 
or to perform any action inspired by pride, which 
would be wrong. But if you find you have done 
such a thing, you must not be disheartened, for that 
only comes from irritated pride, but, like St. Mary 
Magdalen, confess your miseries at the Master's 
feet and ask Him to free you from them. He 
delights in seeing a soul recognize its own helpless- 
ness ; then, as a great saint said : The abyss of 
God's immensity is confronted with the abyss of the 
creature's nothingness, and God embraces this 

" I deeply pity those who live for nothing higher 
than this world and its frivolities ; they seem to me 
slaves. I should like to say to them : 4 Shake off 
the yoke that weighs you down. Why wear fetters 
that chain you to self and to things less than self?' 
The happy people in this world are those with enough 
self-contempt and self-forgetfulness to choose the 
cross for their lot. What blissful peace we enjoy 
when we place our joy in suffering ! 

" Have you ever seen the pictures of death mowing 
the harvest with his sickle ? Well, that is my condi- 
tion ! I seem to feel him destroying me. It is 
painful to nature, and I assure you that, did I not 
rise above it, I should be nothing but a coward in 
my trials. But this is the human way of looking at 
it, and I quickly ' open the eye of my soul to the 
light of faith,' which tells me that it is Love Who is 
destroying me and slowly wearing me away ; then I 
feel an immense joy, and yield myself as His prey. 
* St. Ange la of Foligno. 


" When we meditate on our eternal predestination 
visible things seem so contemptible ! Listen to what 
St. Paul says : ' Whom He foreknew He also pre- 
destinated to be made conformable to the image of 
His Son.'* That is not all. You will see, my 
darling, that you are among the number of the pre- 
destinated. 'And whom He predestinated, them 
He also called. 'f It is Baptism that made you a 
child of adoption, that stamped you with the seal of 
the Blessed Trinity. 'And whom He called, them 
He also justified.' J How often have you been 
justified by the sacrament of penance and by the 
many touches of God upon your soul, without your 
knowing it! 'And whom He justified, them He 
also glorified. ' That awaits you in eternity ; but 
remember, our degree of glory will be the degree of 
grace in which God finds us at the moment of death. 
Allow Him to complete the work of His predestina- 
tion in you, and listen to St. Paul again he will 
give you a rule of life : ' Walk in Jesus Christ, 
rooted and built up in Him.'|| 

" Yes, little child of my soul, ' walk in Jesus Christ.' 
You need that spacious way ; you are not made for 
the narrow, cramped by-ways of this world. ' Be 
rooted in Him.' For this you must be uprooted 
from self, or act as if you were, by denying self 
wherever you meet it. Be * built up in Him,' far 
above all that is passing, where all is pure and full 
of light. Be * confirmed in the faith/ that is, act by 
the light of God alone, never by your own impres- 
sions and imagination ; believe that He loves you, 
and will help you in your struggles ; believe in His 

* Rom. viii. 29. t lbid.> 30. 

\ Ibid. IbU || Col. ii. 6, 7. 



love, in His * exceeding charity.' Support yourself 
by the great truths of faith which show us how rich 
we are, and what is the end for which God has 
created us. If you dwell in these truths, yours will 
be real devotion. The truth, the truth of love, is 
so beautiful ! 'He loved me and delivered Himself 
for me.'* That, dear little friend, is the truth ! 
Finally, grow in gratitude. That is the last rule I 
give you ; it is only the result of the rest. If you 
are c rooted in Jesus Christ . . . confirmed in faith/ your 
life will be full of thanksgiving, in the * charity of 
the children of God.' I wonder to myself how a 
soul which has fathomed the love of God's heart for 
it can help being joyful, whatever its suffering or 

" I also wonder what our Reverend Mother will 
think of this long epistle. She will not let me write 
at all now, as I am extremely weak and constantly 
feel faint. Perhaps this letter may be the last your 
Elizabeth will send you. It has taken her a great 
many days to write, and that will explain its in- 
coherence, yet I cannot bring myself to leave you 
this evening. I am alone ; it is half-past seven ; 
the community is at recreation, and I feel as if I 
were almost in heaven already, alone with the One, 
bearing my cross with my beloved Master. My 
happiness increases with my sufferings. If you only 
knew what sweetness there is at the bottom of the 
chalice prepared by our Father in heaven ! 

" Adieu, my little darling ! May He ' protect 
you beneath the shadow of His wings ' f from all 

* Gal. ii. 20. t Ps. xvi. 9. 


Overflowing charity October 4 The triduum With Him she 
loved Preparing for a clothing The ceremony The 
" consuming fire." 

WE have reached the last weeks of the life of our 
poor little Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity. Her 
stomach was so ulcerated that it was difficult to know 
how to sustain the fervent victim, consumed as she 
was by the fire of love and of pain. " I do my best 
for love of the good God not to starve to death," 
she wrote to her relations, who were taxing their 
ingenuity to find something that would do her good. 

Notwithstanding her extreme exhaustion, she 
remained out of bed the greater part of the day. 
She made more frequent and lengthy visits than 
ever to the Blessed Sacrament, begging to be allowed 
to spend at least half an hour before It. When, at 
last, obliged to own herself vanquished by illness, 
she passed her time in arranging fresh flowers for the 
sacristy and in rendering a thousand little services 
to those around her, all that she did being marked 
with the perfect neatness which characterized her. 

Sister Elizabeth, overflowing with charity like her 
Divine Master before He left His disciples, found 
strength to pour out her devoted love on those who 


had a claim on this final consolation. Her last 
letters, here grouped together, are like fragrant 
spices collected to make some delicious perfume, 
for the incense that Laudem Gloria was to give forth 
comes freely from these pages as from a "lighted 

To a Carmelite Nun. 

" Before I go to heaven, I want to tell you that I 
shall pray much for you in our Father's house. I 
appoint as our meeting-place the Furnace of Love ; 
there I shall pass my eternity, and you can begin 
yours already, even here below. Dear sister, I shall 
be zealous for your beauty. Are we not anxious for 
the well-being of those we love ? I think that my 
mission in heaven will be to draw souls to interior 
recollection by helping them to go out from self and 
to adhere to God in great simplicity and love ; also 
to keep them in that silence of the soul which allows 
God to imprint Himself upon it and transform it 
into Himself. Dear little sister, 1 seem to see all 
things now in the light of the good God, and were I 
to begin my life over again, I should strive not to 
lose a single instant. We brides of Christ in Carmel 
must not do anything except for love and for God. 
If by chance, from the great centre of light, I see 
you forsake this one occupation, I shall come to call 
you to order at once. Would you not like me to 
do so ? Pray for me, help me to prepare for { the 
Marriage Supper of the Lamb.'* Dying entails 
great suffering, and I reckon on your aid. I will 
help you at your death in return. My Master urges 
me on ; He speaks to me of nothing now except of 
* Apoc. xix. 9. 


eternity ... of love. ... It is so serious so grave 
a matter ! . . . 

c< Good-bye ! I have neither strength nor leave to 
write much, but you know St. Paul's saying : * Our 
conversation is in heaven.'* Little sister, let us 
live by love, that we may die of love, and glorify the 
God Who is all love ! 


She wrote to a postulant whose angel she had been, 
and who had been obliged to return to her family 
for special reasons : 


"My angel's heart was deeply touched by 
your letter. I am glad you so fully realize the 
truth that I am not really leaving you. My prayer 
and sufferings are the wings beneath which I shelter 
you 'to keep thee in all thy ways.'f How gladly 
would I undergo the greatest tortures to win you 
more love and faithfulness ! You are the dear 
child of my soul, and I want to help you, to be your 
angel, unseen but always present, to succour you. 

" Dear little sister, I think it is love which shortens 
our stay here below in fact, St. John of the Cross 
states it plainly. He wrote a wonderful chapter 
describing the victims of love, and the last assaults 
it makes upon them. 

" * Our God is a consuming fire,'J if we always 
keep united to Him by a simple and loving gaze of 
Jove. If, like our adorable Master, we can say at 
the end of each day : * I do always the things that 

* Phil. iii. 20. t Ps. xc. n. J Heb. xii. 29. 


please Him,'* He will know how to consume us, 
and we shall fly, like two little sparks, to be lost in 
the great Furnace where we shall burn joyfully for all 

" You wish me to ask the good God for some 
sign to show whether we shall meet again, and 
whether you will take your place beside your little 
angel ; but, glad as I am to please you, I cannot do 
this. It is not in my way ; I should feel that I was 
not leaving all to God. What I can assure you of 
is, that our Master loves you, loves you dearly, and 
wishes you to be His own. He feels a divine 
jealousy regarding your soul the jealousy of a Spouse. 
Keep Him in your heart alone and separate ; let love 
be your cloister ; you will bear Him with you every- 
where and find solitude in a crowd. 

" Good-bye ! Everything reminds me that I am 
going to heaven. If you only knew with what 
serene joy I wait to see God face to face ! In the 
midst of the dazzling light, I shall still be bent over 
my child to preserve her like a pure lily for the 
divine Master, so that He may gladly gather her 
for His garden of virgins, and may rest His glowing 
gaze upon the flower grown for Him with such 
deep love." 

To the Same. 

" I never before felt such need of enveloping you 
in my prayer. When my anguish is most keen, I 
feel so impelled to offer it for you that I cannot do 
otherwise. Are you suffering in any way? I give 
you all my pain to dispose of as you choose. 

" How happy I am at thinking that the Master is 
* St. John viii. 29. 


soon coming to fetch me ! Death is ideal for those 
whom God has kept ! 

" In heaven I shall be your angel more than ever. 
I know my little sister's need of protection in Paris 
where her life is passed. St. Paul says that God 
wishes us to be * holy and unspotted in His sight in 
charity.'* Ah ! how fervently I shall beg Him that 
this great decree may be accomplished in you ! To 
attain this, listen to the same Apostle's advice : 
* Walk ye in Him ; rooted and built up in Him, 
and confirmed in the faith . . . abounding in Him. 1 j" 
While contemplating the ideal Beauty by His own 
brilliant light, I shall beseech Him to imprint it in 
your soul, so that even while on this earth, where all 
is stained, you may be beautiful in His beauty, 
luminous with His light. 

" Adieu ! Thank Him for me, for my joy is 
immense. I appoint as our meeting-place the 'lot 
of the saints. 'J There, in the choir of virgins pure 
as the light, we shall sing the canticle of the Lamb, 
the eternal Sanctus^ beneath the light of the Face of 
God ; then we shall be * transformed into the same 
image from glory to glory.' " 

To a Friend. 

" October, 1906. 

" The hour draws near when I am * to pass from 
this world to my Father.' Before leaving, I wish to 
send you a word from my heart, a legacy of my soul. 
The divine Master's love never overflowed as it did 
at the last moment when He was about to leave His 

* Eph. i. 4. t Col. ii. 6, 7. 

\ Col. i. 12. 2 Cor. iii. 18. 


own. He seems to have put something of this 
feeling in the heart of His little bride in the evening 
of her life, for I feel a flood of affection rise from my 
own heart towards yours. 

" We see the true value of things by the light of 
eternity. Oh, how empty all is that has not been 
done for God and with God ! I beg you to mark 
all your doings with the seal of love ; it is the only 
thing that lasts ! . . . What a serious thing life is ! 
Each minute is given us for the purpose of rooting 
ourselves more deeply in God, according to St. Paul's 
expression, so that we may attain a more striking like- 
ness to our Master, a closer union. The secret of 
realizing this plan, formed by God Himself, is to 
forget, to forsake self, no longer making any account 
of it ; to look upon the divine Master and on Him 
alone ; to receive joy or sorrow indifferently, as both 
coming from His love. This establishes the soul 
upon the summits where all is peace. 

" I leave you my faith in the presence of God, 
Who is all love, dwelling within our souls ; I entrust 
it to you. This intimacy with Him c within me * 
has been the lovely sun that irradiated my life, 
making it a foretaste of heaven, and it sustains me 
now in my suffering. I do not fear my weakness, 
which strengthens my trust in the * Mighty ' One 
Who is within me, and His omnipotence works, as 
the Apostle says, * above what we could hope for.' 

" Adieu ! When I am in heaven, will you let me 
help you, and even find fault with you because of my 
love for you, if I see that you do not give all to the 
divine Master? I will protect your two darling 
treasures, and will ask for all you need to make their 
souls beautiful, true daughters of Love. May He 


keep you all His own, faithful in all things. I shall 
always be yours in Him !" 

Sister Elizabeth kept her most charming little 
attentions and pregnant sayings, such as bring with 
them both light and life, for her sisters in the cloister. 
The little note she placed in a cell on the anniversary 
of a profession is a sample. With great tact, she 
wrote in the person of our Lady, whose picture forms 
the heading of these lines on recollection : 

" Jesus made His first oblation to the Father in 
my arms, and He sends me to receive yours. . . . 
I bring you a scapular* as a pledge of my protection 
and love, as a ' sign ' of the mystery which is to be 
worked in you. I come, my daughter, to finish 
' clothing you with Jesus Christ,' that you may be 
' rooted in Him * in the depths of the abyss with the 
Father and the Spirit of Love ; that you may be 
' built up in Him,' your Rock and your Fortress ; 
that you may be ' confirmed in the faith ' in the 
immense love which rushes into your soul from the 
great Furnace. This all-powerful love will work 
great things in you. Believe my word, the word of 
a Mother, and of a Mother who thrills with joy at 
seeing with what special tenderness you are loved. 
Oh ! dwell within the depths of your own soul ! 

" The Bridegroom is here ! He comes with all 
His gifts ; the abyss of His love clothes you as with 
a vestment. 

"Silence! Silence! . . ." 

The month of October held in reserve the last joys 
of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity's earthly exile. 

* The little vestier, influenced as she was by faith, with 
characteristic charm waited for this opportunity to give her 
sister the blest scapular of our Lady. 


She very much wished to take part in the community 
festivities that yearly honour the blessed death of 
our seraphic Mother. She confided her longing to 
the Saint, and it was granted against all likelihood. 
Sister Elizabeth took the opportunity of putting on a 
new habit, in the afternoon of that day, to ask leave to 
renew the ceremony of her clothing, which took place 
near the tribune where she was accustomed to pray 
before the tabernacle. Full of faith, she observed 
the most minute details of the ceremonial, and did 
not dispense herself from the great prostration. 

We were much affected at seeing her at choir in 
the evening, after an absence of seven months. Frail 
and trembling, she could hardly be perceived in the 
dim light, and was lost to all around in fervent prayer 
which she knew would be the last she would make 
in the place associated with so many graces and 
cherished memories. She felt a calm joy in prostra- 
ting before the grille in commemoration of her 
oblation on December 8,* and her consecration on 
January 2 1 . f Her whole soul went with the 
Suscipe which our holy Mother was to offer as a 
" praise of glory " to the Blessed Trinity. Then, 
serenely radiant, she regained her " dear solitude " 
to complete the gift so sincerely renewed. 

Her sister and brother-in-law, who had promised 
to help us with the music of the festivals we were 
preparing in honour of our Blessed Martyrs of 
Compiegne, came to practise in the chapel in the 
evening. Sister Elizabeth noticed how unselfishly 
her dear Marguerite accompanied her husband, trying 
to bring him forward, while keeping in the back- 
ground herself. 

* Her clothing. t Taking the veil 


" I ought to be, like her, an instrument from 
which the divine Master can draw the melodies He 
loves best," she said ; " effacing myself to give Him 
all the glory, only seconding His action by co-opera- 
tion with His grace." The most insignificant matters 
thus raised her to God, or rather, nothing brought 
her down to earth. " Her feet rest on this, world ; 
her heart, her soul, and her spirit are in heaven," 
said one of the nuns to her mother. 

Sister Elizabeth was able to take part in our 
beautiful festivities from her little sanctuary, to which 
the picture of the Blessed Martyrs was fastened. By 
the numerous Masses celebrated during the trtduum 
she united herself more closely with the Sacred Host. 
She was almost on a level with the Blessed Sacra- 
ment, and delighted in applying to herself the words 
of the Psalmist : " The queen stood on Thy right 
hand,"* saying: "I take advantage of the place I 
hold beside Him Who made me queen to draw many 
graces from His heart." 

Her thoughts centred on the young Levites who 
came to hear the spiritual and profound sermons 
with which we were favoured. She besought her 
" Almighty Counsellor " to infuse that unction into 
the depths of their heart which, in bygone days, had 
so powerfully penetrated her own from the same 

On the 1 5th, the Feast of St. Teresa, our Bishop 
and most revered Father, Monseigneur Dadolle, 
announced the beatification of the Blessed Martyrs, 
to whose robes of virgin-white was added the purple 
of their sacrifice of blood. The coincidence of the 
two feasts Jed his Lordship to speak of our seraphic 
* Ps. xliv. 10. 


Mother's life as also that of a martyr, since she gave 
the greatest possible gift . . . supreme love. He 
developed this idea in a remarkable sermon which 
moved the hearts of all his hearers. When Sister 
Elizabeth of the Trinity quitted her sanctuary she 
felt irresistibly impelled to give the Divine Master 
her whole love by an absolute sacrifice. The Bishop 
willingly gave her, at the parlour grille, his blessing 
as Father and Pontiff, which little " praise of glory " 
looked upon as her final consecration. 

God granted her another consolation by sending 
to our festivals at Carmel the Dominican from whom 
her soul had received the religious influence to which 
she so faithfully corresponded. 

When she confided her desire of suffering to the 
reverend Father, he told her not to limit herself to 
that, but to yield herself in all simplicity to God, 
leaving Him free to act in any way He chose. 

From that time her soul, turned towards the 
regions raised above all suffering, seemed to grow 
daily more full of light, and, notwithstanding her 
pain, our little sister appeared to dwell already in the 
heaven of glory. " I feel love standing beside me 
as though it were a living being !" she exclaimed ; 
" and it says to me : ' I wish to live in thy com- 
panionship ; therefore, I desire thee to suffer without 
thinking that thou art suffering, submitting thyself 
simply to my action upon thee.' ' 

One more memory of this month of October. It 
shows us Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity unselfish in 
her charity to the very end. A lay sister postulant, 
her companion in the novitiate, was about to be 
clothed ; the invalid offered to make her white head- 
dress, upon which she expended her affection and the 


remnant of her strength. No one who witnessed 
the exquisite taste with which she arranged every- 
thing, and her forethought about the smallest details, 
in order that nothing might disturb the recollection 
of the young novice on the morning of the great 
day, would have supposed that Sister Elizabeth 
would take to her bed next week, never to leave it 
again. Yet the exhaustion of her poor body, which 
was almost reduced to a skeleton and required all 
her mental energy to urge to the slightest movement, 
showed that the end was not far off. Her fingers 
could hardly hem the linen and often fell helpless 
on her little table. The poor child used to smile, 
but would allow no one to do her task ; her great 
charity sustained her, for she knew how delighted 
her little sister would be if she did the work. 

She remained in her usual place, wrapt in con- 
templation, on October 22, during the clothing, 
deeply happy in the thought that she would soon be 
laid, for another ceremony, in the very place where 
the young novice now prostrated. Alas ! in three 
weeks her hope was realized. 

She wrote that evening for the last time from the 
" palace of pain " : 


" Your little victim is enduring very, very 
much ; she is in a kind of physical agony, and feels 
so cowardly cowardly enough to scream ! But He 
Who is the fulness of love visits her and makes her 

* Towards the end of her life Laudem G/oruf t who had now 
become a " victim of praise," addressed as her priest her by 
whose hands her oblation had been made and through whom the 
supreme sacrifice was now being perfected. 


live in company with Him, while intimating to her 
that as long as He leaves her on earth He will give 
her suffering. I wish, Mother, if you will allow me, 
to prepare a great festival for you on All Saints' 
Day : to begin a novena of pain for you, during 
which we shall come every night, out of affection for 
you, to visit you while you are asleep." 

Her tortures were now increased by severe 
interior inflammation ; she was literally scorched and 
could hardly speak, but her face was radiant with 
joy. " God is a consuming fire," she said ; " He is 
acting upon me." 

"I shall never forget the impression your angel- 
daughter made upon me when I gave her Holy 
Communion, three weeks before she died," wrote a 
religious in a letter to us. " Although I had been 
told about it beforehand, I was so unnerved that my 
hand trembled when I placed the Sacred Host upon 
her tongue, which was as red as fire. I consider that 
having been allowed to give Holy Communion to 
her whom He was about to crown in heaven is one 
of the greatest favours shown me in my ministry by 
the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our Lord seemed to 
intimate to me that the love which inflamed the soul 
of His saintly victim was burning her more fiercely 
than the heat which consumed her poor body." 

This was indeed the fact, and Sister Elizabeth of 
the Trinity yielded herself so entirely to the " living 
flame of love " kindled within her heart, that it 
wounded her divinely. She greeted her Prioress one 
morning with the words : " O Mother ! a little 
more and you would never have found Laudem 
Gloria on earth again !" " How was that ?" 


" Yesterday evening my soul was undergoing a kind 
of prostration, when I suddenly felt myself, as it 
were, invaded by Love. No words could express 
what I experienced ; it was a fire of infinite sweet- 
ness which, at the same time, gave me a mortal 
wound. I think that, had it lasted any longer, I 
should have succumbed." 

Thus ended this life wholly given up to love, 
which may be epitomized in the words of the Gospel 
concerning St. Mary Magdalen : " She hath loved 

St. John of the Cross says of these predestined 
souls : " The death of such souls is most full of 
sweetness, beyond that of their whole spiritual life, 
for they die of the sweet violence of love, like the 
swan which sings more sweetly when death is nigh. 
This is why the Psalmist said, ' Precious in the sight 
of our Lord is the death of His saints,'f for then the 
rivers of the souls' love flow into the sea of love, so 
wide and deep as to seem a sea themselves ; the 
beginning and the end unite together to accompany 
the just departing for His kingdom. " 

The inner history of Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity concludes with the end of our holy Father's 

" O flame of the Holy Ghost ! penetrating so pro- 
foundly and so tenderly the very substance of my 
soul, and burning it with Thy heat, since Thou art 
so gentle as to manifest Thy desire of giving Thy- 
self wholly to me in everlasting life ; if formerly my 
petitions did not reach Thine ears, when I was weary 

* St. Luke vii. 47. t Ps. cxv. 1 5. 

J "The Living Flame of Love," stanza i., 27, 28 (Lewis'i 
translation; Baker, 1912). 


and worn with love, suffering through the weakness 
of sense and spirit, because of my great infirmities, 
impurity, and little love, I prayed to be set free for 
with desire hath my soul desired Thee when my 
impatient love would not suffer me to submit to the 
conditions of this life according to Thy will for it 
was Thy will that I should live and when the 
previous impulses of my love were insufficient in 
Thy sight, because there was no substance in them ; 
now that I am grown strong in love, that body and 
soul together do not only follow after Thee, but that 
'my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God'* 
with one consent, so that I am praying for that which 
Thou wiliest that I should pray for ... break Thou the 
slender web of this life that I may be enabled to love 
Thee hereafter with that fulness and abundance which 
my soul desires, without end for evermore.t 

* Ps. Ixxxiii. 3. 

t "The Living Flame of Love," stanza i., 35. 


The last visit to the parlour Love and glory Extreme Unction 
The dying nun A symbolic dream The Angelas 
Heaven The Feast of the Dedication. 

ON Monday, October 29, Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity saw all her relatives in the parlour. Her two 
little nieces were brought to her, and their mother 
made them kneel before the grille. " Then, with a 
majesty which was quite impressive," says Madame 
Catez, " she held up her large crucifix, and after 
having looked lovingly upon them, gave them her 
blessing. Did she feel a presentiment that she 
would never see them again ? . . . We thought she 
was almost better she spoke with greater ease, and 
talked to us for a long while, making her last requests. 
Doubtless God had pity on us, and let us fancy we 
should see our dear little Carmelite once more. She 
summoned courage to say to me as we made our 
farewell : * Mother, when the out-sister comes to 
tell you that my sufferings are over, you must kneel 
down and say : u My God, Thou didst give her to 
me ; I give her back to Thee. Blessed be Thy holy 
Name !" 

Next day, Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity could not 
leave the infirmary. " I visited her during the day," 

209 14 


relates the Mother Prioress. " She was very pale, 
but happy. She pointed to a picture hanging on the 
wall, and said : * I was looking just now at our holy 
Mother, and meditating on her glory, and I thought 
that her poor little daughter would be a long distance 
from her in heaven. At the same instant it was said 
to me in the depths of my soul that St. Teresa's glory 
was less the reward of her great deeds than of her 
love, which was a great consolation to me. We have 
loved one another so deeply,' she said, pressing the 
crucifix of her profession day to her heart. c At the 
end of my life this teaching confirms all my special 
devotions. . . . Now I wish to live solely for 

Thus prepared for the last stage of her life, which 
was to begin on that very day, she kept herself " in 
company with love " during the whole of her long 
and painful agony. 

Madame Catez came on the evening of the joth 
to ask after her daughter. The portress, who found 
the Mother Prioress in the infirmary, says : " I took 
the opportunity of recommending several matters 
about which I was deeply concerned to Sister Elizabeth 
of the Trinity. Without giving me a precise answer, 
she replied affectionately, yet with simple and deep 
gravity. She might have been dictating her last testa- 
ment, and she made me promises which have since 
been fulfilled. * Do not talk to me any longer, dear 
sister, you are tiring yourself,' I said ; ' besides, I 
must take your message to your mother. ' * Tell her 
I am dying,' replied the invalid ; c I can say no more.' 
Stupefied at hearing her speak thus, I was impressed 
afresh by her energy in having so mastered her suffer- 
ing in order to console me. 


" When she was urged to lie down to rest she 
answered : ' Oh, no ! I am so exhausted that I am 
afraid I should never be able to sit up again.' " 

Towards the end of Matins that night, the Prioress 
felt impelled to go and see the daughter she so dearly 
loved. The poor little one was awaiting her in an 
anguish of expectancy, fearing lest she might die in 
her Mother's absence, for she had been seized with a 
fit of shivering, which shook her in her bed. When 
her fears were allayed, and her sufferings calmed by 
remedies, she became drowsy. Towards three o'clock 
in the morning the Mother Prioress heard a slight 
noise, and hastened to the sick-bed. Sister Elizabeth, 
who was in acute pain, thought the longed-for end 
had come, and poured out her soul to the Mother 
who watched beside her. It was an hour never 
to be forgotten. Heaven seemed open to the gaze 
of the happy young nun so perfectly detached from 
all things and ready to respond to the summons 
of the heavenly Bridegroom. 

Her weakness was extreme, and she received the 
last Sacraments again on the morning of October 3 1 
the vigil of a feast dear to her faith. 

Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity, who always took a 
special delight in the beautiful Office of All Saints, 
hoped that she was now to join the great multitude 
beheld by St. John before the throne of the Lamb.* 

When the bells of the different churches sounded 
the Angelus at noon she exclaimed : " O Mother ! 
they are ringing for Laudem Glorias departure 1 All 
the bells in the town sounded for my profession, and 
now they are pealing for my journey from the Church 
militant to the Church triumphant. Those bells will 

* Apoc. vii. 9. 


make me die of joy ! Let me go, then I" and she 
held out her arms towards heaven. 

Shortly before ten o'clock on the morning of All 
Saints' Day we thought her last hour had come. The 
community assembled in the infirmary to recite the 
prayers from the Manual. Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity recovered from her collapse, looked round to 
see that all were present, begged their pardon in 
touching terms, and then, in answer to a question 
asked she said : " Everything passes ! . . . At the 
end of life love alone remains. . . . We must do all 
for love, and unceasingly forget self ; the good God 
is so pleased when we are self-regardless. . . . Ah! if I 
had always done so ! ..." she added with a humility 
that went to our hearts. . . . Holy little one ! It 
was your own special grace you were revealing to us, 
and the secret of your rapid attainment of perfection ! 

The bells pealed all day, to the delight of our 
little sister, though she did not hear the divine 
summons she expected. 

" If our Lord offered me the choice of dying 

either in an ecstasy or in the abandonment of Calvary, 

I should prefer the latter not on account of its merit, 

,but that I might glorify and resemble Him," she had 

'confided to us a few days earlier. We reminded her 

of her wish, and she was consoled by the thought 

that it was about to be realized. 

Faith, the strength of the martyrs, had so de- 
veloped in her, through her firm resolution of be- 
lieving that all things are sent to us by the hand of 
Love, that she was divinely sustained throughout 
her own martyrdom, with its helplessness and 
crucifying feelings of abandonment which recalled the 
dereliction of Calvary. t{ It seems as though my 


body were suspended and my soul in darkness," 
she said one day ; " but it is the action of Love, and 
knowing that, my heart rejoices." 

This jubilation of the higher part of her soul did 
not prevent the sensitive part from adding to the 
trials the poor child was already enduring. It was 
delivered over to a kind of agony. " If I had died 
in my former state of soul, death would have been 
too sweet," she declared. " I depart in pure faith, 
and I prefer it, for I resemble my Master more 
closely, and it is more real." 

Her longing to conform to God crucified made 
her welcome every fresh suffering with an angelic 

Towards the end of October her stomach, which 
was almost completely worn out, could hardly retain 
a few barley-sugar drops.* After All Saints' Day 
Sister Elizabeth took nothing. She could not even 
swallow a drop of water without suffering severe 
pain ; her mouth, which had been parched with 
thirst for the last three weeks, was dried up for want 
of moisture. The keen thirst, the torments of which 
we could do nothing to quench, was particularly trying 
to her. " It resembles what our Lord suffered on 
the cross," we told her. " Oh, yes ! it is delightful !" 
she exclaimed. " His love is so infinitely tender, 
He never forgets anything that would make me 
share His pains!" 

She received Holy Communion for the last time 
on November i, as she could not swallow the smallest 

* Sister Elizabeth had taken nothing but milk since the 
beginning of her illness : a glassful sufficed for what she called 
her four meals. Angel on earth as she was, she was nourished by 
God, Who visibly communicated His divine strength to her. 


particle of the Sacred Host in the state we have just 
described. When someone spoke to her of the great 
sacrifice the deprivation of her God must be to her, 
she answered : " I find Him on the cross ; it is 
there He gives me His life." 

Her special love for cleansing her soul in the 
precious Blood of the Saviour had, for some years, 
given her a strong desire of receiving the Sacrament 
of Penance, a grace which our chaplain frequently re- 
newed during this last trying week of her life. His 
words of comfort, which had so often benefited her 
during her religious life, supported her now through 
her severest trials. 

Acute cerebral pains seemed to threaten meningitis, 
but the danger was averted by constant applications 
of ice which melted instantly on coming in contact 
with the intense heat she endured in her head ; she 
felt as if her brain were on fire. The poor child's 
eyes, terribly bloodshot, remained closed until the last 
moments. At times her speech was almost indis- 
tinguishable. It was then that we fully realized how 
deeply her soul, which had always mastered her 
physical state, was immersed in God. Hitherto, in 
spite of the pain that racked her, it was possible to 
understand the interior concentration of her mind ; 
but now she could hardly control her thoughts, yet 
divine union had become so habitual to her that it 
was maintained throughout her sufferings. 

One of the nuns, seeing her state of prostration, 
was about to offer her some little encouragement, 
but was intensely surprised at hearing her murmur 
words whose depth revealed how fully, though in 
appearance all but dead, she lived to God. The same 
impression was felt by many others during those 


nine days. It was the grace left us by the little 
seraph, which remained imprinted in our souls, an 
ideal to be realized and never to be forgotten. 

During her extreme exhaustion Sister Elizabeth 
of the Trinity was grateful to anyone who would 
recite the prayers known as " The Exercises of St. 
Gertrude" to her. She gave signs of finding com- 
fort in them, and used to try to whisper, when they 
were ended, " Gertrude I" that the reader might 
resume. The sighs and transports of a heart thirst- 
ing for union fitly expressed her own yearning 
" O Love ! Love ! tarry not to accomplish my 
nuptials ! . . . O Love ! hasten to satisfy my 
longing. . . . Finish what Thou hast begun !" 

At the words : " Praise Thyself in Thee ; praise 
Thyself in me and by me !" she trembled with emo- 
tion and murmured : " Oh ! that is what I wish !" 

" It was rather consoling than fatiguing to watch 
beside our little sister's sick-bed," writes one of her 
infirmarians. " It was a real pleasure to go near 
her. Whenever I touched her innocent body, 1 
seemed impregnated with the perfume of purity 
exhaling from it. So strongly did I realize our 
Lord's presence in her that I used to kiss her hands 
with the same reverence and respect that I should 
have shown to the crucified Jesus. She let me do so 
in all simplicity, exclaiming: ' It is for Him !' 

"The last moments before her holy death are 
always in my mind. She gave me the impression 
of a victorious champion finishing the race. She 
seemed to cry with St. Paul : * " I have fought a good 
fight, I have finished my course," * c I am a queen 
for all eternity !' " 

* 2 Tim. iv. 7. 


A queen she was already, as, with a striking dignity 
preserved until the very last, she climbed her Calvary 
at the right hand of the divine King. " Our Lord 
wishes me to go to my passion with the majesty of a 
queen," she had said some months before, when 
speaking of the way in which the brides of Christ 
should suffer. It was thus she bore her cross, 
always controlled by the divine strength which 
freed her from the commonplace cares usual to the 

Her power of speech returned to her at intervals, 
and she made use of it to praise God and console her 
sisters. One day, a nun to whom she had confided 
the grace she had found in her name Laudem Gloria 
asked her to give her a name for herself to be her 
strength and guidance. On October 30, Sister Eliza- 
beth caused a slip of paper to be put in her cell on 
which were written the words : " Abscondita in Deo."^ 
" I longed," the sister says, " to return to her to 
learn more of it, but her illness increased so rapidly 
that I feared I should never speak to her again. 
What was my astonishment, on November 5, when 
alone with her for a moment, to feel her clasp my 
hand and to hear her say in a gasping, almost dying, 
voice : ' You are Abscondita, are you not ?' ' Yes !' 
4 Well ! it is He Himself Who gave you that name ; 

* She said to one of the nuns a short time before : " One 
night, when my pains were overwhelming, I felt that nature was 
getting the upper hand, but I roused my faith and said to 
myself, ' That is not the way in which a Carmelite should suffer !' 
Then I thought of Jesus in His Agony, and offering Him my 
pain to console Him, I felt strengthened. That is how I have 
always acted during my life in every trial, small or great, I 
contemplate what our Lord went through resembling it, that I 
may lose my suffering in His and myself in Him." 


I understood it. Oh, what a vocation ! Abscondita 
in Deo means separation from all earthly things, a 
continual ascension to Him. What mortification, 
what prayer, what self-effacement that name re- 
quires ! I cannot tell you all, but I will help you 
from heaven,' and whenever I saw her she repeated : 
< I will help you.' " 

"I shall never forget the impression made upon 
me by those last nine days," says the Mother Sub- 
Prioress. " On the one hand, 1 felt deeply touched 
at watching the poor body, perfectly unrecognizable, 
recalling the descent from the cross ; and on the 
other, I was struck with profound admiration for 
the soul so engrossed by the great mystery of the 
next world that it was impossible for her to describe 
what dawned upon her. 

" Whenever our Mother entered the infirmary 
she was greeted by a smile of indescribable sweetness. 
Sister Elizabeth used to try to open her eyes to look 
at her. If the Mother Prioress seemed tired from 
watching by her sick-bed, she used to try to persuade 
her to rest, showing her anxiety about her Mother's 
health in numberless ways. Sister Elizabeth said to 
her one day : * When I reach the good God, my first 
prayer will be for your health.' * No, no! pray for 
my soul first, that is much more urgent and impor- 
tant.' ' Certainly the soul comes before the body, 
but I think that in heaven we shall be able to care 
for a great many things at once, for heaven is UNITY.' 
When our Mother did not come to see her, she used 
to say to me : f The victim is about to be sacrificed, 
and cannot do without the priest.'' ' 

The dear child used to find comfort in the help 
given her by Mother Prioress whose hand she held 


in her own, saying : " Do not leave me, I stand in 
great need of your aid to finish climbing my Calvary. 
Oh ! to think that the time will come when I must 
traverse that mysterious, solemn passage alone !" 
" But our Lady will be there, and will take you by 
the hand ; you will have nothing to fear with such a 
Mother." " Yes, that is true ! Janua call will be 
sure to let little Laudem Gloria pass through. . . . 
But what a serious thing it is when we come to this 
state ! The thought of heaven thrills my soul, I 
seemed to have dwelt there for a long time, yet it is 
quite unknown to me ! . . . Oh ! how we ought to 
pray for the dying ! I would willingly spend my 
eternity near them to help them. There is something 
terrifying about death. . . . How formidable it 
must be for those who have spent their lives in 
pleasure and are attached to so many things in this 
world ! Even though I am detached from everything, 
I have an indescribable feeling, an intuition of the 
justice and sanctity of God. I realize that death is a 
punishment, and I feel so insignificant, so wanting in 
merit. . . . How we ought to encourage those in 
their last agony ! . . ." 

The impressions of the dying nun, angelic in her 
innocence, added to the sufferings of her whole frame, 
resulting from the many complications of her disease, 
reminded us of her ardent wishes when, as a young 
girl, she offered herself as victim for the sins of the 
world. Her prayers had been heard, and it was 
evident to those beside that little bed a genuine altar 
of sacrifice that the High Priest was completing the 
oblation of His innocent victim. 

" You are clothed with the Man of Sorrows," 
someone said to her one day. " You are completely 


conformed to Jesus crucified." " Yes, indeed !" she 
replied simply, in accents of genuine joy. 

At times her appearance reminded us of certain 
pictures of the Holy Face ; her mournful expression 
touched and impressed us with reverence and recol- 
lection. At other times our little sister looked like 
a young child. She really had the character and 
simplicity of infancy, which developed during her 
illness and gave a wonderful charm to her whole 
person, even during her severest sufferings. We 
used to love to visit her and collect the sayings which 
seemed addressed to us from the threshold of eternity, 
so luminous and appropriate were they ; she appeared 
to see into our souls. We were surprised at her 
presence of mind during the acute pain of her last 
few days. She might have answered, as did the 
Vn6rable Marguerite du Saint Sacrement when ques- 
tioned as to the help she received from God : " The 
Divine aid is immense !" 

" O Love, Love !" Sister Elizabeth had cried after 
a violent crisis, " Thou knowest whether I love Thee 
and desire to contemplate Thee ! Thou knowest 
also what I suffer ! Let it be for thirty, forty years 
longer if Thou wilt ; I am ready. Spend all my 
substance for Thy glory ; let it distil drop by drop 
for Thy Church." She remained in this disposition 
of soul until the end. 

One evening her infirmarian, seeing that she was 
in torture, said to her : " You can bear no more, my 
poor little sister ?" " Oh, no ! I can bear no more !" 
"Do you wish to go to heaven?" "Yes! Until now 
I have abandoned myself to Him, but I am His 
bride, and now I have the right to say to Him : * Let 
us go!' We love one another so dearly, we are 


impatient to see one another. Oh! how I love 

One day her expression revealed that the state of 
her soul was changed in fact, the darkness that had 
enwrapped her during those first days of agony had 
given place to light, but she was not permitted to 
explain the secrets heard in those regions so near to 
the vision of God. 

A little later on she spoke of a happy dream she 
had had. " I saw a beautiful palace, all white and 
gold, and in this palace a bride. She was excessively 
tall, but so well proportioned that she was very 
graceful ; she had a matchless dignity." " Perhaps it 
was Laudem Gloria" " I don't know," she answered, 
smiling ; " I did not see her face, but she was 
beautiful beautiful ! And the dream has made 
me as happy as if I were in heaven." How often 
have we thought how it applied to our dear little 
sister, the bride of Christ developed by suffering, 
adorned with innocence and grace, about to be intro- 
duced to the courts of heaven for the eternal nuptials ! 

One morning she peered beneath her half-closed 
eyelids, leaning forward as though to examine some- 
thing. " What are you doing ?" we asked her. " I 
see a palm," she said, putting out her hand as if 
trying to grasp it. " A palm ?" " Yes, a beautiful 
palm." " Is it for you ?" " I don't know, but I am 
not selfish ; 1 should like each of my sisters to have 

Later on she exclaimed, with a gesture that 
showed she saw herself surrounded with radiance : 

" It is full of light ! It is grand ! . . . It is " 

She could not finish her sentence. 

On the eve of her death she found strength to 


express her happiness. At her request the doctor 
had just told her of the extreme weakness of her 
pulse. " In two days I shall probably be in the 
bosom of my * Three '; is not that joy enough? 
Ltftatus sum in his qu<e dicta sunt mihi ! It is our 
Lady, full of light, pure with the divine purity, who 
will take me by the hand to lead me into heaven 
that realm of dazzling brightness!" 

She did not try to hide from the doctor the over- 
flowing delight her faith produced. He was so 
astonished at her happiness that she tried to explain 
it to him by a comparison which led her to speak in 
a touching manner of the divine adoption, and the 
tears stood in the eyes of many of her listeners. 

Exhausted by her efforts, she entered for the last 
time into her cherished silence. Yet we heard her 
murmur in a sort of chant : " I am going to the 
light, to love, to life !" . . . They were her last 
intelligible words. 

The night between the 8th and the 9th of Novem- 
ber was a very painful one, as suffocation was added 
to her other complaints. Towards morning her 
acute sufferings abated. Calm and silent, the wise 
and prudent virgin peacefully awaited the coming of 
the divine Bridegroom, aided by the prayers of her 
Mothers and Sisters who knelt around her. The bell 
of the convent sounded the first Angelus. The 
Queen of Carmel, present though invisible, succoured 
the child she dearly loved until the hour when, 
all being finished, she was to conduct her to heaven. 
Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity, leaning on her right 
side, her head thrown back, her eyes wide open now 
and fixed upon a point slightly above our heads, 
seemed rather in ecstasy than in agony. Her face 


was wonderfully beautiful ; we could not look away 
from her, and she seemed to gaze upon the eternal 
hills already. 

With this radiant expression she left us, without 
its being possible to say when she drew her last 
breath. All was over now ! . . . Laudem Gloria no 
longer sang on this earth ; our hearts sought her in 
the great furnace of love, the bosom of " the Three." 
She had said : " I shall hardly have reached the 
threshold of Paradise when I shall rush there like a 
little rocket, for a * praise of glory ' can have no other 
place to all eternity." 

And it was the morning of a feast of a Dedication ! 
August 2, 1901, had commemorated one of these 
solemnities. * On that day Sister Elizabeth of the 
Trinity had consecrated herself to a life of perfection 
and praise on Mount Carmel. On November 9, 
1906 (the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Saviour), 
she mounted with gladness to the house of the Lord, 
bearing her sheaves and singing : " Glory be to God!"t 
and the first Office sung in the presence of her 
remains in the choir was another feast of a 
Dedication, that of the Churches of France, whose 
beautiful liturgy was chanted opposite this little 
"house of God," which had always reflected His 
divine glory. 

How touching were some of the allusions in this 
majestic Office ! " The Lord has sanctified His 
tabernacle. My house is a house of prayer. . . ." 

* The Dedication of our Lady of the Angels, where the 
Seraph of Assisi received the Portiuncula indulgence, and where, 
according to St. Bonaventura, " he began the evangelical life with 
which he has inspired his whole Order." 

t Office of the Dedication. 


Was not Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity also " the 
stone hammered with many blows, polished by the 
chisel in the hands of the divine Sculptor "?* 

Our hearts vied with one another in saying to her, 
in the words of Holy Church : " O bride ! how 
blessed is thy lot ! Thou art dowered with the glory 
of the Father, filled with the grace of the Bridegroom, 
espoused to Christ, thy King !"t 

For three days we enjoyed the pleasure of keeping 
her virginal body among us, of surrounding it with 
our prayers and loving veneration. The exteme 
alteration in her features revealed her martyrdom. 
She had indeed " spent all her substance " for her 
God, and passed from this world to her Father trans- 
formed into the image of Jesus crucified. Her 
dream was realized. 

As soon as the news of her death became known 
in the town people crowded to Carmel, eager to 
look upon " the little saint," as everyone called her, 
and carrying with them numerous rosaries and 
medals. Everybody thought that any souvenir of 
her would bring a blessing with it. 

Her funeral was a genuine triumph. An imposing 
circle of twenty-four priests surrounded the humble 
child who, retired and silent, had immolated herself 
for Holy Church and her consecrated Levites. 

Numerous friends accompanied her to her last 
resting-place. They agreed in saying that their 
feelings, as they followed in procession, were less of 
mourning than of hope. For us, the pain of sacrifice 
seemed overweighed by the joy of having offered 
God a gift which we knew would be perfectly 

* Office of the Dedication. 

t From the primitive text of Urbs Jerusalem beata. 


pleasing to Him. The divine peace shed upon our 
Carmel was both a pledge and a reflection of that 
into which our dearly-loved sister had entered for 
all eternity ! 

" I should like to keep myself, as a little vase, 
close to the divine source, so that I might com- 
municate life to souls, by letting the waters of 
infinite charity overflow upon them," Sister Elizabeth 
of the Trinity had said one day. 

The saintly child, plunged in the very ocean of 
eternal life, can now fully satisfy her heart's longing. 
We rejoice to contemplate her leading souls into 
the profound silence which wholly absorbs her in the 
embrace of uncreated Love, thus fulfilling her 
celestial " mission." By revealing what was the 
strength and happiness of her life in this earthly 
exile, our seraphic sister still teaches the divine 
science of intimacy with Him Who delights to be 
with the children of men,* and Whose Heart gave 
utterance at His Last Supper to the burning words : 
" If any man love Me . . . My Father will love him, 
and We will come to him, and will make Our abode 
with him."f 

* Prov. viii. 31. f St. John xiv. 23. 


" Lord, the thought of man shall give praise to Thee : and the 
remainders of the thought shall keep holiday to Thee." 

Ps. Ixxv. n. 



"I knew not."f So sings the bride 
of the Canticles after having been brought into the 
inner cellar. That, it seems to me, should be the 
song of a " Praise of glory " on the first day of her 
retreat, when the Master makes her sound the depths 
of the abyss, that she may learn to fulfil the office 
which will be hers in eternity, but which she also 

'' We have kept the titles and divisions of these pages, although 
they do not contain a retreat in the strict sense of the word. 
What at a first glance appears to be a commentary on the Holy 
Scriptures, is in reality the dear child's revelation of the secret of 
her sanctity, the ideal fully realized by her before her life was 
ended. These confidential notes admit us into the " Holy of 
holies " of the " little house of God." 

Sister Elizabeth's was indeed a soul of one idea : to be a " Praise 
of glory " to the Blessed Trinity. This meant for her that 
heaven began on earth, as she wrote the day after her profession : 
" Heaven in faith, with suffering and self-immolation for Him I 
love." And later on : " I have found my heaven while on 
earth, for heaven is God, and God is in my soul. On the day I 
realized this all things were seen by me in a new light. . . ." 

In this " retreat " she lifts the veil, and contemplating the action 
of the blessed as they gaze upon the Beatific Vision, she exclaims : 

t Cant. vi. II. 


ought to perform in time, which is the beginning of 

Nescivi ! I know nothing, I desire nothing but 
" that I may know Him . . . and the fellowship of 
His sufferings, being made conformable to His 
death."* "Whom He foreknew, He also pre- 
destinated to be made conformable to the image of 
His Son,"f Who was crucified by love. When I 
become identified with this Divine Example, dwelling 
wholly in Him and He in me, I shall fulfil my 
eternal vocation, by which God chose me in Him, 
in principio, which I shall fulfil in <eternum^ when, in 
the bosom of the Trinity, I shall be the ceaseless 
" Praise of His glory " in laudem glori<e ejus.\ 

" No man hath seen God at any time : the only 
begotten Son Who is in the bosom of the Father, 
He hath declared Him." It might be added that 

" It seems to me that it would give immense joy to the Heart of 
God if we were to imitate, within the heaven of our soul, the cease- 
less occupation of the blessed . . . living in the bosom of the 
tranquil Trinity, in the inner abyss, the invincible fortress of 
holy recollection spoken of by St. John of the Cross." 

Like her incomparable Father, the greater the heights to which 
Sister Elizabeth rises the more practical she becomes. After 
having seen in the light of God how infinite is His sanctity, how 
wondrous the work His grace desires to accomplish in us, and 
how sublime the union to which we can attain while yet on 
earth, she became merciless regarding any movement of nature 
that could prove an obstacle, and pursued self into its last strong- 

The same idea is followed every day in connection with a 
different text of Holy Scripture, the same end aimed at, the same 
means given to attain it : Nescivi! to know naught but Him. 

May not these pages be called her " Canticle," and the prelude 
to the eternal Sancttis ? 

* Phil. iii. 10. t Rom. viii. 29. 

I Eph. i. 12. St. John i. 18. 


none has penetrated the mystery of Christ in all its 
depths, unless it be our Lady. St. Paul often speaks 
of the " knowledge "* he had received of it, yet all 
the saints dwell in shadow, compared with our Lady's 
light ! The secret she kept and pondered in her 
heart is unspeakable ; no tongue can tell it, no pen 
express it. 

This Mother of grace will so shape my soul that 
her little child may be a living, striking image of her 
" Firstborn," f the Son of the Eternal, the perfect 
" Praise of the glory " of His Father. 


" My soul is always in my hands. "J This was 
the song of my Master's soul, and that is why, in 
the midst of all His anguish, He remained calm and 
strong. " My soul is always in my hands." What 
does that mean except perfect self-control in the 
presence of the Prince of Peace ? 

"I will keep my strength to thee," is another 
song of Christ's in which I desire to join incessantly. 
My Rule tells me : " In silence shall be your 
strength." To " keep our strength " for the Lord 
is to keep our whole being in unity by interior 
silence ; to collect all our powers, to occupy them in 
the one work of love, to have the " simple eye " 
which allows the light of God to enlighten us. 

A soul which listens to se/f, which is preoccupied 
with its sensibilities, which indulges in useless 
thoughts or desires, scatters its forces. It is not 
completely under God's sway. Its lyre is not in 

* Eph. iii. 4. t Col. i. 15. 

J Ps. cxviii. 109. Ibid.) Iviii. 10. 


tune, so that when the Divine Master strikes it, 
He cannot draw forth celestial harmony ; it is too 
human and discordant. 

The soul which reserves anything for self in its in- 
terior kingdom, whose powers are not all "enclosed " 
in God, cannot be a perfect "praise of glory"; it is 
unfit to sing the canticum magnum continually, because 
it is not in unity. So that, instead of persevering in 
praise, in simplicity, whatever may happen, it is 
often obliged to tune the chords of its instrument 
which have lost their tone. 

How necessary is this blessed unity for the soul 
that craves to live here below the life of the blessed 
that is, of simple beings, of spirits ! Did not the 
Divine Master mean to teach this to St. Mary Mag- 
dalen when He spoke of the unum necessarium ? 
How well that great saint realized it ! She had 
recognized her God by the light of faith under the 
veil of His humanity, and in the silence, the unity 
of her powers, "she heard His word,"* and could 
sing : " My soul is always in my hands," and also 
the little word " Nescivi /" 

Yes ! she knew nothing but Him : whatever noise 
and bustle there was around her : " Nescivi .'" She 
might be blamed : < Nescivi /" Neither care for 
honour nor exterior things could draw her from her 
sacred silence. 

Thus it is with the soul dwelling in the fortress 
of holy recollection. By the light of faith she sees 
her God present, dwelling within her ; and He, on 
His part, is so present to her in her beautiful 
simplicity that He guards her with a jealous care. 
Then, whatever turmoil there may be outside or 
* St. Luke x. 39. 


tempests within, however her honour may be assailed : 
" Nescivi /" God may hide Himself] withdraw His 
sensible grace : " Nescivi /" ..." For Him I have 
suffered the loss of all things !"* she exclaims. 
Henceforth the. Master has full liberty liberty to 
infuse Himself within her, to give Himself in His 
own measure, and the soul, thus simplified, unified, 
becomes the throne of Him Who changes not, 
because unity is the throne of the Blessed Trinity. 


" In Whom we are also called by lot, being pre- 
destinated according to the purpose of Him Who 
worketh all things according to the counsel of His 
will. That we may be unto the praise of His 
glory" t 

It is St. Paul who makes known to us this divine 
election St. Paul, who penetrated so deeply into 
the secret hidden within the Heart of God. Let us 
listen to him as he enlightens us regarding " this 
vocation to which we are called." 

"God," he says, "chose us in Him before the 
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and 
unspotted in His sight in charity." 

On comparing these two explanations of the 
divine plan, I conclude that, if I am worthily to 
fulfil my office of Laudem glori* ', I must keep myself, 
whatever happens, in the presence of God. The 
Apostle also says " in charitate? that is to say, in 
God, " Deus charitas est" and it is contact with the 
Divinity which will make me " holy and unspotted 
in His sight." 

* Phil. iii. 8. t Eph. i. n, 12. t Ibid^ 4. 


I apply this to the beautiful virtue of simplicity 
" which gives to the soul the repose of the abyss " 
that is, rest in God the unfathomable abyss, the 
prelude to the eternal Sabbath of which St. Paul 
speaks : C For we who have believed shall enter into 

Glorified souls have this " rest in the abyss " 
because they contemplate God in the simplicity of 
His Essence. "They know even as they are 
known ""j" by Him that is, by intuitive vision, and 
they are < transformed into the same image from 
glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord."J 
There they are a ceaseless praise of glory to the 
Divine Being, Who contemplates His own splendour 
in them. 

I believe that we should give an immense joy to 
the Heart of God by imitating, in the heaven of our 
soul, this occupation of the blessed, adhering to 
Him by the simple contemplation which resembles 
the state of innocence in which man was created. 

"God created man to His own image." Such 
was the plan of the Creator, that He might view 
Himself in His creature, and might see His own 
perfections and beauty reflected through him as 
through a pure and flawless crystal. Is not that a 
kind of extension of His own glory ? 

The soul, by the simplicity of gaze which it fixes 
upon its Divine Object, is separated from all around 
it, and above all from self. Henceforth it is re- 
splendent with "the light of the knowledge of the 
glory of God," || because it allows the Divinity to 
reflect Himself within it. Such a soul is truly " the 

* Heb. iv. 3. t I Cor. xiii. 12. t 2 Cor. iii. 1 8. 

Gen. i. 27. || 2 Cor. iv. 6. 


Praise of glory " of all His gifts ; it sings without 
cessation whatever happens, and during the most 
commonplace employments, the "canticum magnum" 
the "canticum novum" and this canticle thrills God 
to His very depths. 

" Thy light," we may say to this soul, u shall rise 
up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the 
noonday : And the Lord will give thee rest con- 
tinually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and 
deliver thy bones : and thou shalt be like a watered 
garden, and like a fountain of water, whose waters 
shall not fail. ... I will lift thee up above the 
high places of the earth."* 


Yesterday, St. Paul raised the veil a little way so 
that I could catch a glimpse " of the lot of the saints 
in light," and ascertain how they employ themselves, 
and that I might try, as far as possible, to conform 
my life to theirs, and fulfil my vocation of Laudem 

To-day it is St. John who will partly open the 
" eternal gates "f for me, that my soul may rest in 
"Jerusalem the holy," the sweet "vision of peace!" 
He tells me, to begin with, that " the city hath no 
need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it. 
For the glory of God hath enlightened it, and the 
Lamb is the lamp thereof." 

If I wish my interior city to agree with, to re- 
semble that of the " immortal King of ages,"|| and 

* Isa. Iviii. 10-14. t ^ 8> ""' 7- 

t Office of the Dedication. Apoc. xxi. 23. 

|| i Tim. i. 17. 


to shine with the great illumination given by God, 
I must first extinguish every other light, so that the 
Lamb may be its only Lamp. 

Here faith, the fair light of faith, appears to me. 
That, and no other, ought to enlighten me to go to 
meet the Bridegroom. The Psalmist sings that 
"He made darkness His covert,"* but seems to 
contradict himself by saying elsewhere that He is 
"clothed with light as with a garment. "t This 
apparent contradiction appears to mean that I ought 
to plunge into the sacred darkness, keeping all my 
powers in night and emptiness ; then I shall meet 
my Master, and the light which " clothes Him as a 
garment" will enwrap me too, for He wishes His 
bride to be luminous with His light, and with His 
light alone, "having the glory of God." J 

It is said of Moses that "he endured as seeing 
Him that is invisible "; such should be the attitude 
of a " Praise of glory " who desires to persevere in 
her hymn of thanksgiving whatever happens ; to be 
enduring in her faith, as if she saw Him Who is 
invisible ; enduring in her faith in His " exceeding 
charity " ! " We have known and have believed the 
charity which God hath to us."| 

" Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, 
the evidence of things unseen."! 

What does it matter to the soul that retires 
within itself, enlightened by this word, whether it 
feels or does not feel, whether it is in light or darkness, 
enjoys or does not enjoy ? It is struck by a kind of 
shame at making any difference between such things, 

* Ps. xvii. 12. t Ps, ciii. 2. 

t Apoc. xxi. II. Heb. xi. 27. 

|| I St. John iv. 1 6. H Heb. xi. I. 


and despising itself utterly for such want of love, it 
turns at once to its Master for deliverance ! " It exalts 
Him upon the highest summit of the heart" that 
is to say, above the sweetness and consolations which 
flow from Him, having resolved to pass by all else 
to obtain union with Him it loves. 

To this soul, this enduring believer in the God of 
love, may be applied the words of the prince of the 
Apostles : "In Whom . . . believing, you shall 
rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorified."* 


" I saw a great multitude, which no man could 
number. . . . These are they who are come out of 
great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have 
made them white in the Blood of the Lamb. There- 
fore they are before the throne of God, and they 
serve Him day and night in His temple : and He, that 
sitteth on the throne, shall dwell over them. They 
shall no more hunger nor thirst, neither shall the sun 
fall on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, which 
is in the midst of the throne, shall rule them, and 
shall lead them to the fountains of the waters of 
life, and God shall wipe away all tears from their 

All these elect souls, palm in hand, bathed in 
the light of God, must needs have first passed 
through *' great tribulation," and known the sorrow 
" great as the sea,"! sun by t ^ ie P r P net - Before 
contemplating the glory of the Lord <{ face to face," 
they have shared the abjection of His Christ : before 

* St. Peter i. 8. f Apoc. vii. 9, 14-17. J Lam. ii. 13. 


being "transformed from glory to glory into the 
image of the divine " they have been conformed to 
that of the Word incarnate, crucified by love. 

The soul that longs to serve God day and night in 
His temple, in the inner sanctuary of which St. Paul 
speaks when he says : " The temple of God is holy, 
which temple you are " * such a soul must be 
resolved to take a real share in the Passion of its 
Master. It is a ransom which in its turn will 
ransom other souls. Therefore it will sing to its 
lyre : " God forbid that I should glory, save in the 
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ !"f. . . " With Christ 
I am nailed to the cross." And again : " I . . . fill 
up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of 
Christ, in my flesh, for His Body, which is the 

"The queen stood on thy right hand."|| Such is 
the attitude of this soul ; it walks on the road to 
Calvary at the right hand of the crucified, crushed, 
and humbled King, Who, strong, calm, and full of 
majesty, goes to His Passion, to show forth " the 
glory of His grace."! 

He desires His bride to join in His work of 
redemption, and the way of sorrow which she 
treads seems to her the way of beatitude, not only 
because it leads there, but also because her holy 
Teacher makes her understand that she must pass 
beyond the bitterness of suffering, to find her rest in 
it, as He did. 

Then she can " serve |God day and night in His 
temple." Neither interior nor exterior trials can make 

* I Cor. iii. 17. t Gal. vi. 14. 

I Gal. ii. 19. Col. i. 24. 

|| Ps. xliv. 10. 11 Eph. i. 6. 


her leave the fortress in which He has enclosed her. 
She no longer thirsts nor hungers, for in spite of her 
overwhelming longings for heaven she is satisfied 
with the food that was her Master's the will of the 
Father. She no longer feels the " sun fall on her " 
that is, she does not suffer from suffering, and the 
** Lamb . . . can lead her to the fountains of the 
waters of life," where He will, as He will, for she 
looks not at the path whereon she walks, but at the 
Shepherd Who guides her. 

God, bending down towards this soul, His adopted 
daughter who so closely resembles His Son, "the 
first-born of every creature,"* recognizes it as one 
whom He has predestinated, called, justified ; and 
His Fatherly heart thrills at the thought of perfecting 
His work that is, glorifying it by transferring it to 
His kingdom, there to sing through endless ages 
" the praise of His glory !" 


" And I beheld : and lo a Lamb stood upon Mount 
Sion, and with Him an hundred forty-four thousand, 
having His name and the name of His Father written 
on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, 
as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of 
great thunder : and the voice, which I heard, was as 
the voice of harpers, harping on their harps. And 
they sang as it were a new canticle, before the throne, 
. . . and no man could say the canticle, but those 
hundred forty - four thousand . . . for they are 
virgins. These follow the Lamb whithersoever He 

* Col. i. 15. t Apoc. xiv. 1-4. 


There are some, pure as the light, who even here 
on earth belong to this generation. They already 
bear the name of the Lamb and of the Father 
written on their foreheads. The name of the Lamb by 
their resemblance and conformity with Him Whom 
St. John calls the " Faithful and True," Whom he 
shows us clothed in a robe stained with blood. 
These Christians are also faithful and true, and their 
robes are stained with the blood of their perpetual 
immolation. " The name of the Father," because 
He radiates the beauty of His perfection in them, 
all His divine attributes being reflected in such 
souls, which are like so many strings of an instru- 
ment, vibrating and giving forth the canticum 

" They follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth," 
not only by the wide and level roads but by the 
thorny paths, among the brambles by the way. They 
are virgins that is, free, set apart, detached. ..." 

" Free from all except from their love," separated 
from all, above all from self, detached from all, both 
in the supernatural and natural order. What a going 
out from self does that imply ! What a death to 
all ! As St. Paul says : " 1 die daily !" * 

The great saint wrote to the Colossians: "You 
are dead ; and your life is hid with Christ in God."f 
This is the condition : we must be dead otherwise, 
we may be hidden in God at certain times, but we 
do not habitually live in the Divinity, because our 
feelings, our self-seeking and the rest, draw us forth 
from Him. 

The soul that gazes upon its Master with the 
simple eye which makes the whole body full of light, 
* i Cor. xv. 3 1 . I Col. iii. 3. 


is "kept from the iniquity"* within it. The Lord 
makes it enter the "spacious place," f which is 
nothing else than Himself; there all is pure, all 
is holy. 

O, blessed death in God ! O, sweet and de- 
lightful loss of self within Him Whom we love! 
Henceforth the creature can say : " With Christ I 
am nailed to the cross. And I live, now not I ; but 
Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the 
flesh : I live in the faith of the Son of God, Who 
loved me, and delivered Himself for me."J 


Cceli enarrant gloriam Dei. This is what the 
heavens declare : " the glory of God. 1 ' 

Since my soul is a heaven wherein I dwell, while 
awaiting the heavenly Jerusalem, this heaven, too, 
must sing the glory of the Eternal : nothing but 
the glory of the Eternal. "Day to day uttereth 
speech. "|| All the light, the communications from 
God to my soul, are this " day " which u uttereth 
speech" of His glory to "the day." "The com- 
mandment of the Lord is lightsome, enlightening 
the eyes," IT sings the Psalmist. Consequently, my 
fidelity to all His commandments and interior 
promptings causes me to live in the light ; it is 
also the u speech " which " uttereth " His glory. 
But what a sweet mystery ! " Lord, he who looks 
upon Thee doth shine."** The soul which, by its 
far-seeing inner gaze, contemplates God with a 

* Ps. xvii. 24. | Ps. xvii. 20. t Gal. ii. 19, 20. 

Ps. xviii. I. || Ibid., 2. f IM., 9. 

** D'Eyragucs, Ps. xxxiv. 6. 


simplicity that separates it from all else, "shines"; 
it is a " day that uttereth speech to-day " of His 
glory. " Night to night showeth knowledge."* 
How consoling this is ! My helplessness, my repug- 
nances, my ignorance, my very faults themselves 
declare the glory of the Eternal ! And my suffer- 
ings of body and soul "show forth the glory of 

"What shall I render to the Lord, for all the 
things that He hath rendered to me ? I will take 
the chalice of salvation."! If I take this chalice, 
crimsoned with the Blood of my Master, and in 
joyous thanksgiving mingle my own blood with that 
of the sacred Victim Who gives it a share of His 
own infinity, it may bring wonderful glory to the 
Father ; then my suffering is a " speech " which 
transmits the glory of the Eternal. 

There, in the soul which "shows forth His 
glory," " He has set His tabernacle in the sun." 
The Sun " is the Word the Bridegroom. If He 
finds my soul empty of all that is not included in 
the two words His love, His glory He chooses it 
for His " bridechamber." He enters it impetuously, 
"rejoicing as a giant to run the way," so that I 
cannot " hide myself from His heat."^ This is the 
"consuming fire" which will work that blessed 
transformation spoken of by St. John of the Cross. 
" Each of them seems to be the other ^ and they are 
both but one " a " Praise of glory " to the Father. 

* Ps. xviii. 3. t Ps. cxv. 12, 13. 

I Ps. xviii 6, 7, 8. Heb. xii. 29. 



" They rested not day and night, saying : Holy, 
holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who 
is, and Who is to come. . . . The four-and-tweny 
ancients fell down before Him that sitteth on the 
throne, and adored Him That liveth for ever and 
ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying : 
Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory, 
and honour, and power. . . ."* 

How can I imitate, within the heaven of my soul, 
the ceaseless work of the blessed in the heaven of 
glory ? How can I maintain this constant praise, 
this uninterrupted adoration ? St. Paul enlightens 
me when he writes to his disciples: "That the 
Father . . . would grant you, according to the riches 
of His glory, to be strengthened . . . unto the inward 
man. That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts ; 
that being rooted and founded in charity. . . ."f 

" To be rooted and founded in charity " is, it 
seems to me, the necessary condition of worthily 
fulfilling the office of a Laudem Gloria. The soul 
that enters into, that dwells in " the deep things of 
God," that consequently does all " by Him, with 
Him, in Him," with the purity of intention that 
gives it a certain resemblance to the one, simple 
Being this soul, by its every aspiration, every 
action, every movement, however commonplace, 
becomes more deeply rooted in Him it loves. 
Everything within it renders homage to the thrice- 
holy God ; it may be called a perpetual Sanctus, a 
perpetual "Praise of glory." 

* Apoc. iv. 8, 10, n. t Eph. iii. 14, 16, 17. 


M m 


"They fell down, . . . and adored . . . and cast 
their crowns before the throne." 

And first of all the soul should "fall down," 
should plunge into the abyss of its own nothingness, 
so sinking into it that, according to the beautiful 
expression of a mystic writer, "it finds the true, 
invincible, and perfect peace that naught can trouble, 
for it has cast itself so low that none will descend to 
follow it." Then, it can adore ! 

Adoration ! Ah ! that word comes from heaven. 
It seems to me that it can be defined as the ecstasy 
of love ; love crushed by the beauty, the strength, 
the vast grandeur of Him it loves. It falls into a 
kind of swoon, into a profound and deep silence 
that silence of which David spoke when he 
cried: "Silence is Thy praise."* Yes! that is the 
most perfect praise, for it is sung eternally in the 
bosom of the tranquil Trinity ; it is also " the final 
effort of the soul that overflows and can speak no 

" Exalt ye the Lord ... for the Lord our God 
is holy," j" as the psalm says. And again: "They 
shall always adore Him for His own sake." A 
soul which meditates upon these thoughts, which 
understands their meaning with the " mind of the 
Lord," lives in heaven beforehand, above all that is 
passing around it, above the clouds, above itself ! 

It knows that He Whom it adores possesses in 
Himself all happiness, all glory, and "casting its 
crown " before Him, as do the blessed, it despises 
self, loses sight of self, and finds its beatitude in 
Him Whom it adores, whatever its sufferings or 

* D'Eyragues, Ps. Ixv. 2. t Ibid., xcviii: 9. 

\ Ibid.) Ixxi. 1 5 (French version). 


grief, for it has gone out from self and passed into 
Another. The soul, in this attitude of adoration, 
resembles the well, spoken of by St. John of the 
Cross, which receives the waters flowing from 
Lebanon, so that those who look on it may exclaim : 
" The stream of the river maketh glad the city of 


" Be ye holy, because I the Lord your God am 
holy."f Who is He Who can- give such a com- 
mand ? He Himself has revealed His name, the 
name proper to Him, which He alone may own. 
" God said to Moses : I AM WHO AM ;" the One 
Who lives, the Principle of all beings. " In Him we 
live, and move, and have our being. " 

"Be ye holy, because I am holy," is, it seems to 
me, the wish expressed on the day of the creation by 
the words of God : " Let us make man to Our 
image and likeness. " The Creator's idea has always 
been to associate and to identify His creature with 

St. Peter writes that we are to be " made partakers 
of the divine nature."! St. Paul recommends us to 
" hold the beginning of His substance firm unto the 
end ";f and the Apostle of love declares : " We are 
now the sons of God ; and it hath not yet appeared 
what we shall be. We know, that when He shall 
appear, we shall be like Him : because we shall see 
Him as He is. And everyone that hath this hope in 
him sanctifieth himself, as He also is holy."** 

* Ps. xlv. 5. t Lev. xix. 2. 

J Acts xvii. 28. Gen. i. 26. 

|| St. Peter ii. 1,4. *T Heb. iii. 14. 

** I St. John iii. 2, 3. 


To be holy, even as God is holy, is the measure for 
the children of His love. Has not the Master said : 
" Be ye therefore perfect, as also your heavenly 
Father is perfect "? God said to Abraham : " Walk 
before Me and be perfect."* This, then, is the 
means by which to attain the perfection that our 
heavenly Father requires of us. St. Paul, after having 
penetrated the divine counsels, reveals this to us 
clearly in the words : " God chose us in Him before 
the foundation of the world, that we should be holy 
and unspotted in His sight in charity, Who hath 
predestinated us unto the adoption of children."f 

I seek light again from the same saint in order 
to walk unerringly on this magnificent way of the 
presence of God, in which the soul travels "alone 
with the One," led by the help of His "right 
hand,";}; "overshadowed with His shoulders, trust- 
ing under His wings, . . . not afraid of the terror 
of the night, of the arrow that flieth in the day, 
of the business that walketh about in the dark : of 
invasion, or of the noon-day devil." 

" Put off, according to former conversation, the 
old man . . . and be renewed according to the spirit 
of your mind : and put on the new man, who 
according to God, is created in justice, and holiness 
of truth."|| 

The path is traced for us. We have but to deny 
ourselves, to die to self, to lose sight of self. Is not 
that the Master's meaning when He says: "If any 
man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and 
take up his cross, and follow Me " ?f 

* Gen. xvii. I. t Eph. i. 4, 5. 

J Ps. xix. 7 Ibid., xc. 4, 5, 6. 

H Eph. iv. 22-24. ^ St. Matt. xvi. 24. 


" If you live according to the flesh," continues the 
Apostle, " you shall die. But if by the spirit you 
mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live."* 
This is the death that God demands, of which 
St. Paul says : " Death is swallowed up in victory."^ 
"O death, I will be thy death!" says the Lordf 
that is to say : " Soul, My adopted daughter, look 
on Me, and thou wilt lose sight of self ; flow wholly 
into Me. Come, die in Me, that I may live in 
thee !" 


" Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly 
Father is perfect." When my Master makes me 
hear this sentence in the depths of my soul, I realize 
that He is asking me to live, like the Father, in an 
eternal present, with no past, no future, but, in unity 
of being, solely in the eternal present. 

What is this present ? David tells me : " They 
shall adore Him continually for His own sake." 
This is the u eternal present " in which a " Praise of 
glory " should abide. But if her attitude of adorer is 
to be real, so that she can sing : " I will arise 
early," || she must also be able to say : " For Him 
I have suffered the loss of all things "^[ that is, for 
His sake, that I may incessantly adore Him, I have 
isolated, separated, stripped myself of all things, 
natural and supernatural, as regards the gifts of God. 
For unless a soul has destroyed and become emanci- 
pated from self, it must necessarily, at certain times, 
be commonplace and natural, which is unworthy of a 

* Rom. viii. 13. t i Cor. xv. 54. 

t Osee xiii. 14. St. Matt. v. 48. 

II Ps. Ivi. 9. f Phil. iii. 8. 


child of God, a bride of Christ, and a temple of the 
Holy Ghost. 

As a protection against living according to nature, 
the soul must have a lively faith, and must keep its 
eyes fixed upon the Master ; then it can say : " I 
walked in the innocence of my heart, in the midst of 
my house."* It will adore God for His own sake, 
and will dwell like Him, as He does, by His example, 
in the " eternal present " in which He lives. 

" Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly 
Father is perfect." " God," says St. Denis, " is the 
great Solitary" My Master bids me imitate this 
perfection, to render Him homage by living in 
strict solitude. The Divinity dwells in eternal and 
profound solitude ; He cares for the needs of His 
creatures without in any way leaving it, for He never 
goes out from Himself, and this solitude is nothing 
but His Divinity. 

I must guard against being withdrawn from this 
holy interior silence by keeping myself always in the 
same state, the same isolation, the same retirement, 
the same detachment. If my desires, my fears, my 
joys, or my sorrows, if all the impulses coming from 
these four passions are not completely subjected to 
God, I shall not be solitary: there will be turmoil 
within me. Therefore calm, the slumber of the 
powers, the unity of the whole being, are needed. 

a Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline 
thine ear: and forget thy people and thy father's 
house. And the King shall greatly desire thy 

This injunction is a call to keep silence : " Hearken 
. . . incline thine ear." But in order to listen we 
* Ps. c. 3 t IMd., x}iv. 11, 12.' 


must forget our " father's house " that is, whatever 
pertains to the natural life, of which the Apostle 
says : " If you live according to the flesh, you shall 

To forget our people is more difficult, for this 
" people " is that world which is, as it were, a part of 
ourselves. It includes our feelings, memories, im- 
pressions, etc. in a word, it is self. We must forget 
it, give it up, and when the soul has broken with it 
and is wholly delivered from all it means, " the King 
greatly desires its beauty," for beauty is unity, at 
least as regards divine beauty. 


" The Lord . . . brought me forth into a vast 
space . . . because He was well pleased with me."f 

The Creator, seeing that silence reigns within His 
creature which is deeply recollected in its interior 
solitude, greatly desires its beauty. He leads it into 
that immense and infinite solitude, into that "vast 
space" of which the Psalmist sings, which is His 
very Self: " I will enter into the powers of the 

The Lord said by His prophet : " I will allure 
her, and will lead her into the wilderness ; and I 
will speak to her heart." The soul has now 
entered that vast solitude in which God will make 
His voice heard. " The word of God is living and 
effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged 
sword : and reaching unto the division of the soul 
and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow." || 

* Rom. viii. 13. f Ps. xvii. 20. J Ibid, y Ixx. 16. 

Osee ii. 14. || Heb. iv. 12. 


It is, then, this word itself which will finish the 
work of stripping the soul, having for its characteristic 
and peculiar property the operation and creation of 
what it makes known, provided the soul yields its 

To know, however, is not all that is requisite. The 
soul must keep the word, and by this keeping it is 
sanctified in the truth, according to the will of the 
Divine Master : " Sanctify them in thy truth. Thy 
word is truth."* To those who keep His word 
He has promised : " My Father will love him, and 
We will come to him, and make Our abode in 

The Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity dwell 
within the soul which loves Them " in truth " that 
is, by keeping Their word. And when this soul 
realizes what riches it possesses, whatever natural or 
supernatural joy it feels only induces it to enter 
within itself to enjoy the substantial good it owns, 
which is nothing else but God Himself. So that 
St. John of the Cross declares " it has a certain 
resemblance to the Divinity." 

"Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is 
perfect." St. Paul tells me that He " workerh all 
things according to the counsel of His will,"! and 
my Master asks me again to render Him homage in 
this manner : " To do all things according to the 
counsel of My will " ; never to let myself be led 
by my impressions, by the first impulses of nature, 
but to control myself by my will. For this will 
to be free, it must be " enshrined within the will 
of God "; then I shall be " led by the spirit of God." 

* St. John xvii. 17. f Ibid., xiv. 23. 

| Eph. i. ii. Rom. viii. 14. 


All that I do will partake of the divine, the eternal, 
and, like Him Who changes not, I shall dwell here 
on earth in an eternal present. 


" Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis"* 
God has said : " Be ye holy, because I the Lord 
your God am holy," but He remained inaccessible 
and hidden. The creature needed that He should 
descend to it, that He should live its life, so that, 
setting its feet in His footsteps it might mount up 
to Him, sanctifying itself by His sanctity. 

" For them I sanctify myself, that they also may 
be sanctified in truth, "f I have now before me 
"the mystery which hath been hidden from the 
ages and generations . . . this mystery which is 
Christ, in you the hope of glory," J says St. Paul, 
adding that the mystery had been manifested to him. 
It is, then, from this great Apostle that I shall learn 
this wisdom " which surpasseth all knowledge the 
charity of Christ." 

Firstly, he tells me : " He is my peace," that " by 
Him we have access ... to the Father," || " because 
in Him it hath well pleased the Father that all ful- 
ness should dwell : and through Him to reconcile 
all things unto Himself, making peace through the 
Blood of His cross, both as to the things that are on 
earth, and the things that are in heaven. "IF "And 
you are filled in Him," continues the Apostle, "... 
buried with Him in baptism, in Whom also you are 

* St. John i. 14. t Ibid., xvii. 19. 

\ Col. i. 26, 27. Eph. iii. 19. 

II Eph. ii. 1 8. 11 Col. i. 19, 20. 


risen again by the faith of the operation of God . . . 
and you . . . He hath quickened together with 
Him ; forgiving you all offences: blotting out the 
handwriting of the decree that was against us, 
which was contrary to us. And He hath taken the 
same out of the way, fastening it to the cross : and 
despoiling the principalities and powers, He hath 
exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing 
over them in Himself* ... to present you holy 
and unspotted and blameless before Him."f This 
is the work of Christ as regards every soul of 
good will the work which the Father, in His im- 
mense, His " exceeding charity," urges Him to do 
for me. 

He desires to be my peace, so that nothing can 
distract my attention nor draw me forth from the 
invincible fortress of holy recollection. There He 
will give me " access to the Father," and will keep 
me as stable and tranquil in His presence as if my 
soul were already in eternity. By the Blood of the 
cross He will make peace in my little heaven, that 
it may be indeed the place of repose of the Holy 
Trinity. . . . He will fill me with Himself; He 
will absorb me into Himself, making me live with 
Him by His life : " Mihi vivere Chris tus est." J 

Though I may continually fall, in trustful faith I 
will ask Him to raise me, knowing that He will 
forgive me and with jealous care will cleanse me 
perfectly. More than that, He will strip me, will 
deliver me from my miseries, from all that offers an 
obstacle to the divine action upon me. He will 
draw my powers to Him and make them captive, 
triumphing over them as they dwell in Him. Then 

* Col. ii. 10, 12-15. f Ibid. y i. 22. J Phil. i. 21. 


I shall have passed completely into Him and shall 
be able to say : " Now I live, now not I ; but Christ 
liveth in me," and I shall be " holy, and unspotted, 
and blameless before Him." 


" Instaurare omnia in Christo." * Again it is 
St. Paul who teaches me. He, who has just been 
immersed in the divine counsels, tells me that " God 
hath purposed ... to re-establish all things in 

The Apostle comes to my aid again, to help me to 
fully realize this divine plan, and gives me a rule of 
life : ft Walk in Jesus Christ the Lord, rooted and 
built up in Him, and confirmed in the faith, as also 
you have learned, abounding in Him in thanks- 
giving." t 

" Walk in Jesus Christ " appears to me to mean 
to go out from self, to lose sight of, to forsake self, 
that we may enter more deeply into Him every 
moment enter so profoundly as to be <c rooted " in 
Him, and that we may boldly challenge all events 
with the defiant cry : " Who, then, shall separate us 
from the love of Christ ?" When the soul is so 
deeply fixed in Him as to be rooted in Him, the 
divine sap flows freely through it and destroys 
whatever in its life was trivial, imperfect, unspiritual : 
" Mortality is absorbed in life." Thus stripped of 
self and clothed with Jesus Christ, the spirit has 
nothing to fear from without or within ; all such 
things, far from being an impediment, only root it 
more firmly in its love for its Master. Throughout 

* Eph. i. 10. t Col. ii. 6, 7. 


whatever happens, for or against it, the soul is ready 
to " adore Him always for His own sake," being free, 
liberated from self and all else. It can sing with the 
Psalmist : " If armies in camp should stand together 
against me, my heart shall not fear. If a battle 
should rise up against me, in this will I be con- 
fident. . . . For He hath hidden me in His 
tabernacle"* that is, in Himself. 

I think this is the meaning of St. Paul's words, " be 
rooted in Jesus Christ." 

Now, w^iat is it to be " built up " in Him ? The 
prophet continues : " He hath exalted me upon a 
rock, and now He hath lifted up my head above my 
enemies, "f Is not that a figure of the soul " built 
up " in Jesus Christ ? He is that Rock on which it 
is exalted above self, the senses, and nature ; above 
consolations or sufferings ; above all that is not Him 
alone ! There, with perfect self-mastery, it controls 
self, rising above self and all else. 

St. Paul also counsels me to be " confirmed in the 
faith " ; in the faith which never permits the soul to 
slumber, but keeps it watchful under the eye of its 
Master, recollected as it listens to His creative word ; 
in its faith in the " exceeding charity " which allows 
God to fill the soul " according to His fulness." 

Finally, the Apostle desires me to " abound in 
Jesus Christ in thanksgiving," for all ought to end 
in this. " Father, I give Thee thanks," was the song 
of Christ's soul, and He wishes to hear it echoed in 
mine. But I think that the canticum novum which 
will best please and charm my God is that of a soul 
detached from all things, delivered from self, wherein 
He can reflect all that He is and He can dispose of 
* Ps. xxvi. 3, 5. t MM; 6. 


it as He will. Such a soul waits to be touched by 
Him as though it were a lyre, and all the gifts it has 
received are like so many strings which vibrate to 
give forth, day and night, the " praise of His glory." 


" I count all things to be but loss, for the excellent 
knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord: for Whom I 
have suffered the loss of all things . . . that I may 
gain Christ : and may be found in Him not having 
my justice, which is of the law, but that . . . which 
is of God, justice in faith: that I may know Him . . . 
the fellowship of His sufferings, being made con- 
formable to His death. ... I follow after, if I 
may by any means apprehend wherein I am also 
apprehended by Christ Jesus. . . . One thing I 
do : forgetting the things that are behind, and 
stretching forth myself to those that are before, I 
press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal 
vocation of God in Christ Jesus."* 

The Apostle has often revealed the grandeur of 
this vocation : " God chose us in Him before the 
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and 
unspotted in His sight in charity." f "We being 
predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who 
worketh all things according to the counsel of His 
will : that we may be unto the praise of His 


How are we to respond to the dignity of our 

vocation? This is the secret : " Mihi vivere 
Chris tus w/. Vivo enim y jam non ego, vivit vero 

* Phil. iii. 8-10, 12-14. t Eph. i. \. 

I Eph. ii, 12. Phil. i. 21. 


in me Chris fus. . . ."* We must be transformed 
into Jesus Christ, and study this divine model, 
so thoroughly identifying ourselves with Him that 
we can incessantly represent Him before the eyes 
of His Father. 

What were His first words on entering the world ? 
" Behold, I come to do Thy will, O God."f 

The first oblation of the divine Master was a real 
one ; His life was but its consequence. He de- 
lighted in saying : " My meat is to do the will or 
Him that sent Me."J This should be the meat of 
the bride, and at the same time, the sword that 
immolates her. 

" Father, all things are possible to Thee, remove 
this chalice from Me, but not what I will, but what 
Thou wilt." Then, serenely peaceful, she goes to 
meet all sacrifices with her Master, rejoicing at 
" having been known " by the Father, since He 
crucifies her with His Son. By never leaving Him, 
by keeping in close contact with Him, the secret 
virtue will go forth from her which delivers and 
saves souls. Detached, freed from self and all 
things, she will follow her Master to the mountain, 
to join with His soul in "the prayer of God."|| 
Then, through the divine Adorer, she will "offer 
the sacrifice of praise always to God that is to say, 
the fruit of her lips confessing to His Name." *! And 
she will " speak of the might of His terrible acts and 
will declare His greatness."** 

In the hour of humiliation, of oppression, she 
will remember the short sentence : " Jesus autem 

* Gal. ii. 20. t Heb. x. 9. J St. John iv. 34. 

St. Mark xiv. 36. || St. Luke vi. 12. 

fl Heb. xiii. 15. ** Ps. cxliv. 6. 


tacebat"* and she, too, will be silent, " keeping all 
her strength for the Lord " the strength we draw 
from silence. 

When she is abandoned, forsaken, in anguish, 
such as drew forth from Christ the loud cry : " Why 
hast Thou forsaken Me?"f she will remember the 
prayer : " That they may have my joy fulfilled in 
themselves."| And, drinking to the very dregs the 
chalice given by the Father, she will find a heavenly 
sweetness in its bitterness. 

Then, after having repeated again and again : " I 
thirst " thirst to possess Thee in glory she will 
die, exclaiming: "It is consummated || . . . into 
Thy hands I commend my spirit. "IT Then the 
Father will come to take her into His heritage, 
where " in Thy light we shall see light."** " Know 
ye also that the Lord hath made His holy One 
wonderful," ft sang David. Yes, in the case of such a 
soul, God's holy One is glorified indeed, for He has 
destroyed all else to clothe it with Himself, and it has 
conformed its life to the words of the Precursor : 
"He must increase, but I must decrease. "JJ 


Nearer than all to Jesus Christ, though at a 
distance which is infinite, there exists a created being 

* St. Mark xv. 5. t Ibid., 34. \ St. John xvii. 13. 

St. John xviii. 1 1. || Ibid., xix. 30. 

f St. Luke xxiii. 46. ** Ps. xxxv. 10. 

It Ps. iv. 4. (In the French: "hath marvellously glorified 
His holy One.") \\ St. John iii. 30. 

Although we have made several quotations from this devout 
meditation on our Lady, we give it entirely for the fifteenth day, 
consecrated to it by Elizabeth in her little retreat. 


who was also the great " Praise of glory " of the 
Blessed Trinity. She responded fully to the divine 
vocation of which the Apostle speaks ; she was always 
holy, unspotted, blameless, in the sight of the thrice 
holy God. 

Her soul is so simple, its movements are so 
profound, that they cannot be detected ; she seems to 
reproduce on earth the life of the Divinity, the 
simple Being. And she is so transparent, so 
luminous, that she might be taken for the light 
itself ; yet she is but the mirror of the Sun of 
justice (Speculum justitite}. 

" His Mother kept all these words in her heart."* 
Her whole history can be summed up in these few 
words. It was within her own heart that she dwelt, 
and so deeply did she enter it that no human eye 
can follow her. 

When I read in the Gospel that Mary " went into 
the hill-country with haste into a city of Juda,"f to 
perform her charitable office to her cousin Elizabeth, 
I picture her to myself as she passes beautiful, calm, 
majestic, absorbed in communion with the Word of 
God within her. Like Him, her prayer was always : 
" Ecce /" " Here am I !" Who ? " The handmaid 
of the Lord," the last of His creatures, she, His 
Mother ! 

Her humility was so genuine ! For she was always 
self-forgetful, knowing nothing, freed from self, so 
that she could sing : " Behold from henceforth all 
generations shall call me blessed. Because He that 
is mighty hath done great things to me !" J 

This Queen of virgins is the Queen of martyrs 

* St. Luke ii. 51. t Ibid., i 39. 

\ Ibid., 48, 49. 


too ; but it was within her heart that the sword 
transpierced her, for with her everything took place 
within her soul. 

Oh ! how beautiful she is to contemplate during 
her long martyrdom, enveloped in a majesty both 
strong and sweet, for she has learnt from the Word 
how those should suffer who are chosen as victims 
by the Father ; those whom He has elected as 
associates in the great work of the redemption ; 
whom He has known and " predestinated to be con- 
formed to His Christ," crucified by love. 

She is there, at the foot of the cross ; she stands 
in her strength and courage, and my Master tells 
me : " Ecce Mater tua." He gives her to me for 
my Mother ! And now that He has returned to 
His Father, that He has put me in His place on the 
cross, so that I may " fill up those things which are 
wanting of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh for 
His Body, which is the Church," our Lady is there 
still, to teach me to suffer as He did, to let me 
hear the last song of His soul which no one but His 
Mother could overhear. 

When I shall have said my consummatum est, it 
will be she again, Janua cceli, who will introduce me 
into the eternal courts as she utters the mysterious 
words : " L<etatus sum in his qu<e dicta sunt mihi y in 
domum Domini ibimus" 


" As the hart panteth after the fountains of water : 
so my soul panteth after thee, O God. My soul 
hath thirsted after the strong living God ; when 
shall I come and appear before the face of God?"* 
* Ps. xli. i, 2. 


" Yet, as the sparrow hath found herself a house, 
and the turtle a nest for herself where she may lay 
her young";* so, while waiting to be taken to the 
holy city of Jerusalem, " Eeata pads visio,' 1 ^ Laudem 
Gloria has found her retreat, her beatitude, heaven 
beforehand, where she already begins her life of 

" In God my soul is silent, it is from Him I 
expect my deliverance. Surely He is the rock where 
I find salvation, my citadel, and I shall be moved 
no more !"| 

This is the mystery to which my lyre is tuned 
to-day. My divine Master has said to me, as to 
Zaccheus : " Make haste, and come down, for this 
day I must abide in thy house. " Make haste 
and descend, but where ? Into the innermost depths 
of my being, after having left self, separated from 
self, stripped myself of self in a word, without 

" I must abide in thy house." It is my Master 
Who utters this ; my Master Who desires to abide 
in me with the Father and His Spirit of Love so 
that I may " have fellowship " with Them. " Now 
therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners . . . 
but you are the domestics of God," |j as St. Paul says. 

I think that to be a domestic of God is to abide 
in the bosom of the tranquil Trinity, in my inner- 
most depths, in the invincible fortress of holy 
recollection described by St. John of the Cross. 

" My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of 
the Lord."1f 

* Ps. Ixxxiii. 4. f Vespers, Hymn of the Dedication. 

J D'Eragues, Ps. Ixii. 2, 3. 

St. Luke xix. 5. || Eph. ii. 19. f Ps. Ixxxiii. I. 


Such should be the feeling of my whole soul when 
it enters its interior " courts " to contemplate its God 
and keep in closest contact with Him. It faints in 
a divine swoon before this all-powerful love, this 
infinite Majesty which dwells within it. It is not 
that life forsakes it, but the soul itself disdains this 
natural life and withdraws from it. Feeling such life 
to be unworthy of a spirit raised to such dignity, it 
dies to this life and flows into its God. 

How beautiful is the creature thus stripped and 
freed ! It is " disposed to ascend by steps to pass 
from the vale of tears to the place which is its end "* 
that is, from all that is less than God, that " vast 
space " which is the unfathomable Trinity : " Im- 
mensus Pater, immensus Filius, immensus Spiritus 

It rises, ascending above the senses, above nature, 
above self. It passes beyond all joy and all sorrow, 
passes through the clouds, never to rest until it has 
penetrated within Him Whom it loves, Who will 
Himself give it the " repose of the abyss." And all 
this will be done without leaving the " holy fortress." 
The Divine Master has said to it : " Make haste and 
come down." 

Nor will the soul leave it when at last it lives, like 
the immutable Trinity, in an " eternal present," 
adoring God eternally for His own sake, and be- 
coming, by a gaze that ever grows more simple, 
more unifying, "the brightness of His glory," 
or, in other words, the ceaseless "Praise or glory 
of His adorable perfections. 

* Ps. Ixxxiii. 6, French version. 

t Athanasian Creed. J Heb. i. 3. 



O my God, Trinity Whom I adore ! help me to 
become utterly forgetful of self, that I may establish 
myself in Thee, as changeless and as calm as though 
my soul were already in eternity. May nothing dis- 
turb my peace nor draw me forth from Thee, O my 
immutable Lord ! but may I penetrate more deeply 
every moment into the depths of Thy Mystery. 

Give peace to my soul ; make it Thy heaven, Thy 
cherished dwelling-place, Thy home of rest. Let 
me never leave Thee there alone, but keep me 
there all absorbed in Thee, in living faith, adoring 
Thee and wholly yielded up to Thy creative action. 

O my Christ Whom I love ! crucified by love ! 
fain would I be the bride of Thy heart ; fain would 
I cover Thee with glory, and love Thee . . . until 1 
die of very love ! Yet I realize my weakness, and 
beg Thee to clothe me with Thyself, to identify my 
soul with all the movements of Thine own. Im- 
merse me in Thyself ; possess me wholly ; substitute 
Thyself for me, that my life may be but a radiance 
of Thine own. Enter my soul as Adorer, as Re- 
storer, as Saviour ! 

O eternal Word, Utterance of my God ! I long 
to pass my life in listening to Thee, to become docile, 
that I may learn all from Thee. Through all dark- 
ness, all privations, all helplessness, I crave to keep 
Thee ever with me and to dwell beneath Thy 
lustrous beams. O my beloved Star ! So fascinate 
me that I cannot wander from Thy light ! 

* This prayer of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity was found 
among her notes (see p. 1 1 5). It has no title. 


O " consuming Fire /" Spirit of Love ! descend 
within me and reproduce in me, as it were, an incarna- 
tion of the Word, that I may be to Him another 
humanity wherein He renews all His mystery. And 
Thou, O Father, bend towards Thy poor little 
creature and overshadow her, beholding in her none 
other than Thy beloved Son, in Whom Thou hast 
set all Thy pleasure. 

my " Three," my all, my beatitude, infinite 
Solitude, Immensity wherein I lose myself ! I yield 
myself to Thee as Thy prey. Merge Thyself in me, 
that I may be immerged in Thee until I depart to con- 
template in Thy light the abyss of Thy greatness ! 

November 21, 1904. 




1 see that my little N is no nearer being con- 
verted, and I assure you that it grieves me. I over- 
looked your fits of temper in the past, but you are 
no longer a baby, and the scenes you make are 
ridiculous. I know that you will allow your 
Elizabeth to say anything, so that I shall speak my 
mind, and you must really set to work to amend. 
As your nature is like mine, I know what you can 
do. If you only realized what it is to love God and 
to give Him all He asks, especially at our own cost, 

* Elizabeth knew how to be firm when necessary, as the 
following letters prove, while at the same time they bear witness 
to her own struggles when, after her first confession, she resolved 
to give herself wholly to God. 


you would not be so slow in listening to me. No 
doubt you would feel the sacrifice at first, but later 
on you would enjoy a delightful peace. I want you 
to be so good ! . . . I will suggest a plan to you as 
I am not there for you to pour out your feelings to 
me. Whenever you wish to confide in me, run to 
your room and recollect yourself for a moment 
between your crucifix and my portrait of which you 
are so fond, and imagine that I am there with Jesus 

and my little N . Whenever you feel out of 

sorts, do that. Will you make that bargain with 
me ? 

Thank God for me. I am too happy I You do 
not understand it ... If you only knew how 
sweet it is to love Him solely ! I beg Him with all 
my heart to teach you. 

LETTER 2. ^ 

. . . Yes, I pray for you, and keep you in my 
soul near the good God, in that little inner sanctuary 
where I find Him at all hours of the day and night. 
I am never alone : my Christ is always there pray- 
ing within me, and I pray with Him. 

You grieve me, for I feel certain you are unhappy, 
and I assure you that it is your own fault. If only 
I could teach you the secret of happiness as God has 
taught it me! You say I have neither cares nor 
sufferings. It is true that I am happy, but in the 
way one can be while one's will is being contradicted. 
We must fix our gaze on God. It requires an effort 
at first when we are boiling with anger, but gently, 
with patience and the help of grace, we conquer in 
the end. Build a little cell within your soul as I do ; 


remember that the good God is there, and enter it 
from time to time. When your nerves are upset or 
you feel unhappy, take refuge there at once and 
confide everything to the Divine Master. If you 
practised it a little, prayer would not weary you. 

You used to love to sit close beside me and tell 
me all your secrets : that is how you ought to go to 
Him. If once you understood that, you would 
suffer no more : that is the secret of the Carmelite 

I keep you in the little cell of my soul as you 
must keep me in yours ; then we shall never be 

LETTER 3. . ., 

April) 1902. 

I have spent a good Lent. Nothing I have seen 
at Carmel is more beautiful than Holy Week and 
Easter Day indeed, I should say that nothing could 
compare with them. 1 will tell you all about them 
when we meet. 

What a joy it is to live in intimacy with God, our 
life being spent heart to heart with Him in a con- 
stant interchange of love with the divine Master 
when we know how to find Him in the depths of 
our soul ! Henceforth we are never alone and we 
long for solitude that we may enjoy the company of 
the Guest Whom we adore. You must give Him 
His proper place in your life, in the loving and 
passionate heart He has given you. If you only 
knew how kind, how loving He is in every way ! 

I am begging Him to reveal Himself to your soul, 
to be the Friend that you can always find ; then you 
would see all things in another light, and life would 
become a joy. 


This is not a sermon, but the overflowing of my 
soul into your own, that together we may lose our- 
selves in Him Who loves us, as St. Paul says, with 
an " exceeding love !" 

LETTER 4. ~ , 

July 24, 1905. 

I still keep the long letter you wrote to me before 
you left. I have read it again and again, begging 
the Divine Ideal to take captive and wound the dear 
little heart He seeks and restrains as it struggles to 
escape Him and to live engrossed in things im- 
measurably below the end for which He created it 
and set it in this world. 

I understand your craving for an ideal that is, 
something to draw you out of self and to raise you 
higher ; but that ideal is to be found in Him alone : 
Truth Itself. If you did but know Him in some 
degree as your Elizabeth knows Him ! . . . He 
fascinates the soul ; beneath His gaze the horizon 
becomes vast, beautiful, and luminous. I love Him 
passionately, and in Him I find my all. It is through 
Him, by His light, that I must view all things 
and perform every action. Will you turn with me 
to that sublime Ideal ? It is no fiction, but a reality ; 
it is my life at Carmel. Look at Magdalen and see 
how she was captivated. Since you need to live 
above self, live in Him : it is so simple. And then 
you must be the comfort of your dear mother. You 
do not know what there is in the heart of mothers 
such as God has given you and me. Remember, 
nothing better is to be found in this world, and I do 
not think my Master could have asked more from me 
than to yield Him mine. I want you to be perfectly 


submissive, and to dwell in God and in His peace. 
The more sure I feel that you are not good, the 
more resolved I am on winning your soul, for the 
Master wants it. Besides, are you not my own little 
child ? I feel to some extent answerable for you, so 
do not let your conversion be too difficult. Let the 
Master take you in His nets, for it is well to be 




How good it is to spend Lent, Holy Week, 
and Easter in Carmel ! It is like nowhere else. 
What joy I felt at singing the Alleluia in the white 
mantle and the dear habit which I have so long 
desired ! It was bliss to spend Maundy Thursday 
near Him ; I should have remained there all night, 
but the Master bade me go to rest. But that does 
not matter, does it ? We find Him as much in our 
sleep as in our prayer, since He is in all, everywhere, 
always, at all times. I returned to the choir at two 
o'clock in the morning. You can guess how glad I 
was to be there. I grow fonder every day of the 
grille that makes me the prisoner of His love ; it is 
such happiness to think that we are both captives, 
fettered by our love for one another. More than 
that, we are but one victim, offered to the Father for 
souls "that they may be made perfect in one."* 

Thank God, whenever you think of your little 
Carmelite, for having given her so blessed a lot. It 
is heaven already. The horizon is so beautiful ! It 

* St. John xvii. 23. 


is He ! . . . What will it be above, since here below 
our union is so intimate ? You know how homesick 
I feel for Paradise. My longing is not lessened, but 
I already see heaven, since I bear it within me. 
One seems so near it in Carmel. Will you not 
come and see me some day, and chat through the 
grille as you used to with your little Elizabeth ? 
Do you remember the first time I told you my 
secret in St. Hilary's cloister? I have spent many 
a happy moment with you, and I beg God to reward 
you for all the good you have done me. I remember 
how glad I used to feel when I could spend a short 
time with you and talk over my great secret. I was 
but a child, yet you never doubted that God had 
called me. 

LETTER 2. . 

August 2, 1903. 

I remember our conversations in the last holidays 
we spent together among the beautiful mountains, 
and how we used to stroll together by moonlight. . . 
on the hill by the church. How lovely it was in 
the calm and silence of night ! Did you not feel 
that my whole heart went out to Him ? And then 
Mass in the little chapel the Mass you said ! . . . 
I shall never forget those happy times. My soul 
and heart follow you now, and I feel very near to 
you. 1 delight in the thought of having left all for 
Him ; it is a joy to give when one loves, and I love 
so ardently the God Who wishes to have me for 
Himself alone. I feel His love descending on my 
soul ! It is like an ocean into which I plunge and 
lose myself; my vision on earth while I wait to see 
Him face to face in the light. He is in me and I in 
Him. I only have to love and to let myself be 


loved every moment ; to wake in love, to act in 
love, to sleep in love, my soul in His, my heart in 
His, that by His contact He may purify and deliver 
me from my misery. If you only knew how full I am 
of Him ! I should like to tell you all about it as in 
the old days at St. Hilary's, and then bathe myself 
in the precious Blood. I almost commit the sin of 
envy when I think of dear mamma. I beg you, at 
least, at Holy Mass to put my soul in the chalice, 
and to ask the Bridegroom to make me wholly pure, 
a virgin soul, one with Him. 

LETTER 3. January, 1904. 

Since the divine " Little One " dwells in my soul, 
His prayer belongs to me, and I delight in directing 
it towards those for whom I shall always feel the 
deepest gratitude, so that you have a large share in 
my poor little prayers. Christmas, of which I have 
always been very fond, has a character all its own at 
Carmel. Instead of passing the holy vigil with 
mamma and " Guite," I spent it in the great silence in 
the choir, close to Him, and delighted in saying to 
myself: "He is my All, my one and only All." 
What happiness and peace it brings the soul ! He 
is the One ; I have given Him all. If I look earth- 
wards I see only solitude, even a void, for I cannot 
deny that my heart has suffered ; but if I keep my 
gaze fixed on Him, my glowing Star, oh ! all else 
disappears, and I lose myself in Him like a drop in 
the ocean ; all is calm and peace ! St. Paul alludes 
to this divine peace when he says that it " surpasses 
all understanding."* 

* Phil. iv. 7. 


On Sunday, the anniversary of the great day of 
my profession, I shall be in retreat, and shall delight 
in passing the day near my Bridegroom. I hunger 
for Him ; He opens abysses in my soul which He 
alone can fill by leading me into profound silence 
where I should like to stay for ever. Good-bye, 

Canon A , I beg you to pray for me, for I have 

great need of your help. Remember your Carmelite 
at the Holy Sacrifice, at the altar of Him she loves. 
Tell the good God that she longs to be His victim, so 
that He may ever dwell in her, and that she may 
have something to give to others. 


January, 1905. 

I have prayed much to my Divine Bridegroom for 
you, asking Him to give you the most precious of 
all His treasures and is not that Himself, Jesus, 
the gift of God ? He makes me experience more 
fully every day the joy of being His His alone 
and my Carmelite vocation leads me to adore and 
thank Him. Yes, St. Paul's words are true : " He 
has loved us with an exceeding love." He has loved 
His little Elizabeth too much, but love calls forth 
love, and I ask nothing of the good God but that I 
may grasp that knowledge of charity spoken of by 
St. Paul, of which my heart longs to sound the very 
depths ; but I must wait for heaven to understand it, 
must I not ? Yet it seems to me that we can begin 
to learn it on earth, since we possess Him, and in 
spite of everything, we can dwell in His love. He 
made me understand this during my private retreat 
in October. Ten days full of silence and absolute 
solitude ! From Carcassonne you can see the happy 


hermit bury herself in her desert. I am indeed 
happy, and it does me good to say so, especially to 
you, for I know you still feel a fatherly affection for 

If you only knew how unchanged my heart is 
indeed, it is enlarged and dilated by its contact with 
the God of all love. It is in Him that I am still 
your own, and that I kneel to receive your cherished 


February, 1905. 

Before burying myself in the solitude of the 
desert, our Reverend Mother has given me leave to 
let you know how happy your kind letter has made 
me. Mamma told me that you were suffering with 
your arm, but I hope from what you write that the 
rheumatism has gone. 

Poor mamma ! She wishes the Alleluia had been 
sung already. God will reward her motherly heart 
for its long fast ! Yes, Canon, as you say, there is 
much to expiate and much to plead for ; so many 
wants need fervent and continual prayer and ardent 
love. The power of a soul given up to love is very 
great. We see it in St. Mary Magdalen : one word 
from her sufficed to obtain the resurrection of 
Lazarus. There is an urgent call for this good God 
to work many a resurrection in our dear France which 
I love to set where the Divine Blood will flow upon 
it. St. Paul says that we have " the remission of 
sins, according to the riches of His grace which hath 
superabounded in us."* The thought is such a help 
to me ! Oh ! what a consolation to go and be saved 
by Him at times when we only realize our miseries, 

* Eph. i. 7, 8. 


and how full I am of them ! But the good God has 
given me a mother, the image of His mercy, who 
knows how to calm the anguish of her little one's 
soul in a moment, and to give her wings to fly 
beneath the rays of the creative Star, so that my life 
is spent in thanksgiving, united to the eternal praise 
sung by the saints in heaven, while I pass my 
apprenticeship on earth. . . . During holy Lent 
pray for your child ; consecrate her with the sacred 
Host, so that nothing more may remain of poor 
" Elizabeth," but that she may be wholly " of the 
Trinity." Then her prayer can become all powerful, 
and you will profit by it, since you have so large a 
share in it which is only acquitting herself of her 
heavy debt of gratitude ! . . . Good-bye, dear 

Canon A ! the bell is calling me to Matins. 

I shall not forget you there. That will be the first 
time. . . . 


Feast of the Ascension, 1905. 

Dear mamma has told me that you have been very 
ill. I have asked Reverend Mother to allow me to 
pay you a short visit. To-day the Divine Master 
returns to His Father, Who is our Father as well, 
and He will prepare us a place in His heritage of 
glory. I am asking Him to take all your bonds into 
bondage and to set you quickly upon your feet 
again. You must tell me if He listens to His 
Carmelite. We had our last recreation to-day before 
entering our retreat in the Cenacle until Pentecost. 
I feel that I shall be closer to you than ever during 
these ten days, for I shall dwell more completely in 
Him. St. Paul, whose beautiful epistles I am studying, 


and which delight me, says : " The things that 
are of God no man knoweth but the Spirit of God." * 
The plan of my retreat will be to hold myself by 
faith and love beneath the " unction from the Holy 
One," f of which St. John speaks, since He alone 
" searcheth the deep things of God." J Oh ! pray for 
me, that 1 may not grieve this Spirit of Love but may 
allow Him to work all the creations of His grace 
within my heart ! Will you also pray for my dear 
community, and above all, for our Reverend Mother 
and all her intentions ? I ask you to help me to 
requite my debt of gratitude to her. If you only 
knew what she is to your little child ! A virtue 
from God continually flows from her soul into mine. 
If, on her feast-day, you could offer her the lovely 
bouquet, crimsoned with the Blood of the Lamb, that 
so delighted her last year, I assure you I should be 
overjoyed. I thank you beforehand, being certain 
that my wish will be granted if possible. How 
simple I am with you ! But are you not the father 
of my little soul ? 

Good-bye, dear Canon A . Bless me and 

obtain for me the Spirit of Love and Light ! 



There is no wood like the wood of the cross 
for enkindling the fire of love in the soul, and 
Jesus wants to be loved and to find in the world 
that so offends Him souls given to Him that 
is, wholly yielded up to Him and His good pleasure. 

* i Cor. ii. n. f i St. John ii. 20. J i Cor, ii. 10. 


"My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me."* 
Our Lord was the first to say this. The soul in 
communion with Him enters into the feelings of 
His divine soul, and its one ideal is to fulfil the will 
of the Father Who has loved us from all eternity. 

As you have given me leave to speak freely to 
you and to read something of the secrets of your 

heart, allow me, dear Madame , to tell you that 

I see the will of God manifested in your sufferings. 
He has deprived you of the power of action, of 
seeking amusement, or doing any work, so that your 
one occupation may be to love and to think of Him. 
I tell you, from Him, that He thirsts for your soul. 
You are specially consecrated to Him, for, to my 
great joy, you wished to be His entirely while living 
in the world. It is very simple ! He is always with 
you. Be always with Him, in your actions, your 
sufferings, and when your body is exhausted. Remain 
in His sight ; see Him present with you, living in you. 

Were I not in Carmel, I should envy your 
solitude you are so secluded among your beautiful 
mountains. You seem to me in a little Thebaid. 
How delightful to wander about alone through 
those vast woods, to leave your books and work, and 
dwell with the good God, heart to heart, in closest 
intimacy, gazing upon Him with overflowing love ! 
You should enjoy such happiness ; it is heavenly. 


You ask me how I can bear the cold. Believe 
me, I am not more generous than you, but you 
are ill and I am in good health. I do not feel that 

* St. John iv. 34. 


the weather is cold, so you see I have not much 
merit I used to suffer far more from the winter at 
home than I do at Carmel without a fire. The 
good God gives us grace. Besides, it is well for us 
when we feel such little things, to look at the Divine 
Master Who also suffered the like because of " His 
exceeding charity " towards us ; then we long to 
return Him love for love. We meet with many such 
sacrifices at Carmel, but they are sweet when the 
heart is made captive by love. 

I will tell you what I do when I feel a little 
tired : I look at the crucified God, and when I see 
how He gave Himself for me, it seems as if I cannot 
do less than spend myself, wear myself out, that I 
may repay Him some little of what He has given me. 
Dear Madame - , let us communicate in His spirit 
of suffering in the morning at Holy Mass. We are 
His brides : we ought to be like Him. Let us 
keep ourselves in Him during the day. If we faith- 
fully live His life, if we identify ourselves with 
all the feelings of the soul of the crucified God, we 
need no longer dread our own weakness ; He will be 
our strength, and who will dare to take us from Him ? 
I believe that He is greatly pleased with you, and 
that your sacrifices must console His Heart. During 
Lent I appoint as our meeting-place the infinity of 
God, His charity. Shall not that be the desert 
where, with our Divine Spouse, we will live in pro- 
found solitude, since it is in this solitude that He 
speaks to our hearts ? 




It is well for us to look into the hearts of the 
saints and to follow them, in faith, until they enter 
heaven. There they shine with the light of God, 
Whom they contemplate face to face. This heaven 
of the saints is our own country, the Father's house, 
where we are expected and loved, to which some day 
we too may take our flight, to repose in the bosom 
of infinite Love ! When we fix our eyes upon this 
divine world, which surrounds us already even in 
our earthly exile, in which we can spend our life, 
how the things of this world disappear ! They are 
the things that are not, that are less than nothing. 
The saints well understood this true wisdom, which 
makes us leave all things, ourselves above all, to fly 
to God and dwell in Him alone. Dear Madame 

, He abides in us to sanctify us. Let us ask 

Him to be Himself our sanctity. We are told in 
the Gospel that when our Lord was on earth a 
secret virtue went out from Him the sick recovered 
health, the dead were raised to life when brought 
in contact with Him. Yet He is still living living 
in the tabernacle, in the adorable Sacrament, Jiving in 
our souls. He Himself has told us so : " If anyone 
love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will 
love him, and We will come to him, and will make 
Our abode with him."* Since He is there, let us 
bear Him company as a man does his friend. This 
divine union is wholly interior : it is the essence of 
the Carmelite life which makes our solitude so dear 
to us ; for, as is said by our Father St. John of the 

* St. John xiv. 23. 


Cross (whose feast we keep to-day) "Two hearts 
that love one another prefer solitude to all else." 

On Saturday, the Feast of the Presentation of our 
Lady, we had the beautiful ceremony of the renewal 

of vows. Oh I dear Madame , what a happy 

day it was 1 What a joy to bind oneself to the 
service of so kind a Master, to tell Him that one is 
His till death, the bride of Christ ! I am very glad 
to know that you, too, are given to Him. I think 
our great St. Elizabeth in heaven must bless and seal 
the union of our souls. 

I shall never go to see your beautiful mountains, 
but in heart and soul I shall follow you there, asking 
Him Who is our " Trysting-place " to draw us to 
those other mountains, to those divine summits so 
far distant from earth that they nearly touch heaven. 
It is there that I remain united with you under the 
rays of the Sun of Love I 


Before entering the strict silence of Lent, our 
Reverend Mother has given me leave to tell you how 
earnestly I and my dear community are praying for 
you. I understand your dread of an operation, and 
beg our Lord to relieve and calm your fears Himself. 
The Apostle St. Paul says that " God worketh all 
things according to the counsel of His will ;"* con- 
sequently we ought to receive everything as coming 
directly from the divine hand of our Father, Who 
loves us, and Who, amidst all our trials, is following 
out His own end that of uniting us more closely to 
Himself. Launch your soul upon the ocean of trust 

Eph. i. ii. 


and submission to His will ; remember that what- 
ever troubles and frightens you does not come from 
the good God, for He is the " Prince of Peace,"* that 
peace which He has promised to men of goodwill. 
When you fear, as you tell me, that you have 
abused His graces, that is the time to redouble your 
trust in Him, for, as the Apostle says elsewhere : 
" Where sin abounded, grace did more abound ";f 
" God is rich in mercy, for His exceeding charity 
wherewith He loved us." Then do not dread the 
hour through which we all must pass. Death is the 
sleep of the babe upon its mother's heart. At last the 
night of exile will have fled for ever, and we shall 
enter into possession of " the lot of the saints in 
light." St. John of the Cross says that we shall be 
judged by our degree of love, which corresponds 
with what our Lord said of St. Mary Magdalen : 
" Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved 
much." || I often think that I shall have a very long 
purgatory, for much will be asked of those who have 
received much, and He has been so overflowing in 
generosity to His little bride ! However, I confide 
in His love, and sing my hymn of His mercies while 
I am still on earth. 

If we were to grow more like God every day, with 
what confidence we should regard the hour in which 
we must appear before His infinite sanctity 1 I think 
you have discovered the secret. It is by self-denial 
that we reach this divine end ; by this we die to self 
and give place to God. Do you remember the 
beautiful page in St. John's gospel where our Lord 

* Isa. ix. 6. t Rom. v. 20. 

I Eph. ii. 4. Col. i. 12. 

|| St. Luke vii. 47. 


says to Nicodemus : " Amen, amen, I say unto thee, 
unless a man be born again, he cannot see the king- 
dom of God " ?* Let us renew ourselves in the 
depths of our soul " Stripping yourselves of the old 
man with his deeds, and putting on the new, . . . 
according to the image of Him Who created him."t 
It is to be done gently and simply by separating 
ourselves from all that is not God. Then the soul 
no longer fears nor desires anything, the will being 
completely lost in that of God, which produces 

Let us pray much for one another during the holy 
time of Lent, retiring into the desert with our 
Master, and asking Him to teach us to live His 


February, 1904. 

I have felt closely drawn to you lately while 
reading the life of St. Elizabeth, your Mother and 
my heavenly patroness. I am so fond of those words 
addressed to her by our Lord : " Elizabeth, if thou 
will keep with Me, I will keep with thee, and 
nothing will be able to separate us." Dear Madame 

, did not the Divine Spouse say so to us in the 

silence of our soul when He invited us to follow 
Him more closely, to be one with Him by becoming 
His brides ? During these days in which we keep 
the " Forty Hours," the Blessed Sacrament is ex- 
posed here. To-day, Sunday, I have spent nearly the 
whole day before our Lord, trying by my love to 
make Him forget the sins committed during the 

* St. John iii. 3. t Col. iii. 9, 10. 


Lent will begin on Wednesday : shall we make 
a Lent of love together ? " The Son of God loved 
me, and delivered Himself for me."* 1 This, then, is 
the way love expresses itself: it gives itself, it 
empties itself entirely into Him Whom it loves. 
"Love makes the lover go out of himself, trans- 
porting him, by an ineffable ecstasy, into the Heart of 
Him it loves." Is not that a beautiful thought ? 
Let it be the guiding watchword of our souls, so 
that they may suffer themselves to be borne away by 
the Spirit of love, and beneath the light of faith 
may, while still on earth, join the hymn of love 
eternally sung by the blessed before the throne of the 

Lamb. Yes, dear Madame , let us begin our 

heaven on earth, our heaven in love ! He Himself 
is this love, as St. John tells us: "God is charity." f 
Shall not this be our trysting-place ? 


January, 1905. 

In the epistles of St. Peter I came across a quota- 
tion which will express the good wishes of your little 
Carmelite for you : " Sanctify the Lord Christ in your 
hearts."| ^ ^ ^ at we must carry out the idea 
of St. John the Baptist : " He must increase, but I must 

decrease. " Dear Madame , let us make God 

increase in our souls during this new year which He 
gives us to sanctify ourselves and to unite ourselves 
more closely to Him. Let us keep Him " alone and 
separate " ; let Him be really King. As for us, let 
self disappear and be forgotten, that we may be 

* Gal. ii. 20. t i St. John iv. 8. 

t I St. Peter iii. 15. St. John iii. 30. 


nothing but the " Praise of His glory," according to 
the Apostle's beautiful expression. 

I also wish you all the blessings of health which 
you need, as you suffer so severely for want of 
them. Remember what St. Paul said : " Gladly, 
therefore, will I glory in my infirmities, that the 
power of Christ may dwell in me."* It is all the 
will of the good God. Rejoice, rejoice, dear 

Madame , in the bodily pains which affect your 

soul as well, and remember that if you bear your 
state of helplessness faithfully and lovingly you can 
load Him with glory. Our holy Mother St. Teresa 
said : " When we know how to unite ourselves to 
God and to His holy will, accepting whatever He 
decrees, we possess everything." 

I wish you this deep peace in the divine good 
pleasure. I understand what sacrifices your health 
must impose upon you, but it is sweet to say 
to ourselves: "He wills it." He said one day to 
one of His saints : u Drink, eat, sleep, do whatever 
you like, as long as you love Me" It is love that 
makes His yoke so easy and His burden so light. 
Let us ask the Infant God to consume us by this 
divine flame, by the fire that He willed to bring on 
earth. . . ." 


January, 1906. 

May 1906 be, for your soul, a chain of fidelity 
whose every link, soldered by love, may bind you 
more closely to the Divine Master and make you 
indeed His captive, " fettered to Him," as St. Paul 
says. The saint, with his large and generous heart, 

* 2 Cor. xii. 9 


desired for his disciples "that Christ might dwell in 
their hearts, that they might be rooted and founded 
in charity."* That is what I wish for you, too, dear 

Madame : that the reign of love may be 

supreme within you, that its influence may make you 
totally oblivious of self, and may conduct you to that 
mystic death of which the Apostle spoke when He 
exclaimed : " I live, now not I ; but Christ liveth in 
me."t The Divine Master, in His discourse after 
the Last Supper, that last song of the love of His 
soul, utters to the Father the beautiful words : " I 
have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the 
work which Thou gavest Me to do." J We who are 

His brides, dear Madame , ought consequently to 

identify ourselves completely with Him, and ought 
to be able to repeat these words at the close of each 
day. Perhaps you will ask me how we are to 
glorify Him. It is very simple. Our Lord told us 
the secret when He said : " My meat is to do the 
will of Him that sent Me." Cling closely to the 
will of this adorable Master ; look upon each joy and 
each suffering as coming directly from Him, and 
your life will be a continual Communion, for all things 
will be like a Sacrament coming from God to you. 
This really is the fact, for God is not divided. His 
will is His whole being. He is wholly and entirely 
in all things, and these things are, to a certain extent, 
nothing but an emanation of His love ! You see 
how you can glorify Him in the states of suffering 
and languor which are so hard to bear. Forget self 
as much as possible ; that is the secret of peace and 
happiness. St. Francis Xavier exclaimed : " What 

* Eph. Hi. 17. t Gal. ii. 20. 

J St. John xvii. 4. Ibid. t iv. 34. 


touches me, touches me not ; but what touches Him, 
touches me to the quick." Happy the soul that 
becomes so utterly detached ; that is love indeed ! . . . 



A Carmelite has a soul that has looked upon 
the crucified God. She has seen Him offering Him- 
self to the Father as a Victim ; and, reflecting upon 
this grand manifestation of the charity of Christ, she 
has realized His passionate love, and has willed to 
give herself with Him. She lives, as if in heaven, 
with God alone on the mountain of Carmel, in 
silence, in solitude, in endless prayer. He Who will 
one day be her beatitude and will satiate her with 
glory, has given Himself to her already ; He never 
leaves her ; He abides in her soul ; the two are but 
one, so that she thirsts for silence that she may ever 
listen to Him and penetrate more and more deeply 
into His Infinitude. She is identified with Him she 
loves and finds Him everywhere. Is not that heaven 
on earth ? You bear this heaven within you, for 
Jesus knows the Carmelite by what is within her, 
that is, by her soul. Never leave Him ; do every- 
thing under His divine gaze, and rejoice in His 
peace and love. 


Let us live in intimacy with our Beloved ; let us 
be all His as He is all ours. You are deprived of 
receiving Him [in Holy Communion] as often as you 


wish, but remember that His love needs no Sacrament 
to come to you ; you can communicate all day, since 
He is living in your soul. Listen to what our 
Father St. John of the Cross tells us : 

" O thou soul, most beautiful of creatures, who so 
earnestly longest to know the place where thy 
Beloved is, that thou mayest seek Him and be 
united to Him ! Thou art thyself that very taber- 
nacle where He dwells, the secret chamber of His 
retreat where He is hidden. Rejoice, therefore, and 
exult, because all thy good and all thy hope is so 
near thee as to be within thee ; yea, rather, rejoice 
that thou canst not be without it, for lo, * the king- 
dom of God is within you.' "* 

This living in Him is the whole Carmelite life : 
then all sacrifices, all self-denial, and all else become 
divine. Love silence and prayer, the essence of our 
life. Beg the Queen of Carmel, our Mother, to teach 
you to adore Jesus in His profound recollection. Pray 
to our holy Mother St. Teresa as well ; she loved so 
deeply ! . . . she died of love ! Beg her to give 
you her passion for God and for souls, for the 
Carmelite must be zealous ; all her prayers, all her 
sacrifices are for that. 

Do you know St. John of the Cross, who pene- 
trated so deeply into the depths of the Divinity ? 
I ought to have spoken first of St. Elias, our first 
Father. You see our Order is very ancient, since it 
dates back to the prophets. How I wish I could 
relate all its glories ! Let us love it : there is none 
to be compared to it! As for the Rule, you will 
discover all its beauties some day. Live in the 
spirit of them now ! 

* " Spiritual Canticle," St. John of the Cross, stanza i., 8. 




Your little friend's heart longs to let you 
know how intensely she prays for you. 

Like Magdalen at the feet of my Master, I 
shall intercede for you and tell Him : " He whom 
Thou lovest is sick." 

Jesus gives His cross to His true friends that He 
may draw nearer to them. I see a very deep love for 
you in His heart. 

I unite myself to the angel you have lost, who is 
watching over you from heaven, so that I may touch 
the Heart of the good God. 

I have just heard that God has offered you His 
cross by asking of you the saddest of sacrifices, and 
I beg Him to be Himself your strength, your 
support, your Divine Comforter. 

I share all your sorrow ; you will read between 
these lines what my heart cannot utter. God alone 
can speak to us during such trials, for He is the 
supreme Consoler. The divine Master, Whose Heart 
is so intensely compassionate, is near you ; it is He 
Who received in heaven the soul we love so dearly, 
which will have a share in our prayers and sacrifices 
here every day. Dwell with it in that region which 
is so close to us. Let us lift the veil by faith and 
follow him who has vanished to where all is peace 
and light, where suffering is transformed into love. 

I beseech God to be all that He has taken from 
you, and to wipe the tears from your eyes with His 
divine hand. 


I know that you work with indefatigable zeal for 
the greater glory of God. That, under one form or 
another, ought to be the employment of our life, it is 
our"predestination" according to the words of St. Paul. 
May this new year be a year of love, consecrated to 
the glory of God. How happy we should be at the 
last day if we could say with our adored Master : 
" I have glorified Thee on the earth ; I have finished 
the work which Thou gavest Me to do."* What a 
consolation to give God to souls, and souls to God ! 
With such an aim, life becomes another thing. Shut 
in our cell, I follow you everywhere, and recommend 
to the Father of the household " those two " who 
labour so effectually for His harvest, while I am their 
little Moses on the mountain. . . . 


Your kind letter pained me, for I feel how 
profoundly sad you are. ... I have prayed much 
for you, and communicated with the Word of Life, 
with Him Who came to bring solace for sorrows, 
and Who, on the eve of His Passion, in that dis- 
course after the Last Supper in which He poured 
forth all His soul, said, in speaking of His own : " I 
come to Thee . . . that they may have My joy filled in 

themselves.f It is self-surrender, dear Madame , 

which gives us to God. I am very young, yet it 
seems to me that I have suffered keenly at times. 
Oh ! then, when all was dark, when the present was 
so painful and the future seemed still more 
sombre, I closed my eyes, and put myself, like a 
child, into the arms of the Father Who is in heaven. 

* St. John xvii. 4. t Ibid., 13. 


Dear Madame , will you allow the little 

Carmelite who loves you so dearly to tell you some- 
thing on the part of the Divine Master ? It is what 
He said to St. Catharine of Siena : " Think of Me 
and I will think of thee." We look at ourselves too 
much ; we want to see and comprehend, and have not 
sufficient confidence in Him Who enfolds us in His 
charity. We must not stand before our cross to 
examine it, but, drawing back into the light of faith, 
we must rise above it, and consider it as the instru- 
ment used by divine love. "But one thing is 
necessary. Mary hath chosen the better part, which 
shall not be taken away from her."* This " better 
part," which seems my privilege in my loved solitude 
in Carmel, is offered by God to every Christian soul. 

He offers it to you, dear Madame , among all 

your cares and anxieties. You must believe that all 
He wishes is to lead you ever farther and farther into 
Himself. Yield yourself up to Him with all your 
troubles ... I have found my heaven on earth, since 
heaven is God, and God is in my soul. On the day 
that I understood that, I saw everything in a new light, 
and I want to tell all those I love of it, so that they, 
too, may adhere to God whatever happens, and 
Christ's prayer may be realized : " That they may be 
made perfect in one."f 


MADAME, Marcl, 24, 1907. 

It is easier to perceive the divine action in a 
soul, to witness its strength and sweetness, than to 
put into words, in our poor human speech, the im- 
* St. Luke x. 42. t St. John xvii. 23. 


pression left upon the memory. And yet it may 
perhaps be a duty to give testimony to sanctity when 
we have been happy enough to meet with it, though 
perhaps but for a short time, and to declare with 
St. John : " Nos vidimus et testamur" It is serviceable 
for the world, and good, even for faithful Christians, 
not only to believe, but to know by tangible evidence 
that sanctity is always in existence, as a living and 
actual reality, and that the Church is never without 
saintly souls, those marvellous creations of grace. 

The Mother Prioress, who day by day, step by 
step, accompanied the holy daughter you confided to 
her, and who guided her during her short religious 
life, has traced her portrait in the pages addressed to 
her sisters. It is to be hoped that, for the pleasure 
and edification of a wider circle, she will tell them 
what she knows of her who was so fervent a " Praise 
of glory" in this world, so that they may enjoy the 
fragrance of this flower of Carmel. 

Although I saw her only for an instant, when 
administering Extreme Unction to her, and two or 
three times later on when I gave her Holy Com- 
munion, I look upon this providential meeting as 
one of the graces of my priestly life, and recall it as 
a thing precious and never to be forgotten, a deep 
and vivid impression, neither to be told nor to be 

This, however, I can say, that if sometimes during 
the course of my ministry I have seen " the veil 
drawn back which hid from the dying the splendours 
of eternity," so that some glimpses were perceived 
by them ; if I have sometimes seen a kind of trans- 
figuration and aureole upon the face of those who 
were going to God never has such an unearthly 


radiance been more visible to me than when I entered 
the cell of your dear Carmelite daughter to ad- 
minister to her the last Sacraments. With her hands 
clasped in prayer, she was so calm and almost smiling 
amid her agonizing sufferings ; she answered the 
questions of the Mother Prioress with such lucidity ; 
she received with such evident gratitude the graces 
that were brought her ; her constancy, courage, 
surrender of self to God and union with Christ were 
so evident from her expression that I thought it 
needless to address to her the words that a priest 
owes to the sick upon such occasions. 

With what deep faith she took part in the litur- 
gical prayers ! And while she received the holy 
unctions, she seemed to realize in all its meaning and 
with her whole will the consecration, the oblation 
of her body "as the holy, living, and pleasing 
sacrifice " to God, of which St. Paul speaks. 

It was a hard, a laborious sacrifice, only to be 
completed after long weeks of endurance,' during 
which, as I was then saying Mass at the convent, I 
had on two or three occasions the happiness of 
bearing to her who was already called " the little 
saint," the living Bread which renewed her super- 
natural strength. I remember well the quick, 
decided movement with which she raised herself to 
approach the grille for Holy Communion. It seemed 
as if all her physical force returned to her that she 
might meet our Lord as He came to her. 

Dear Madame Catez, I have ventured to write 
these few lines to you concerning a past which is 
both your joy and grief, a Calvary that you have 
mounted with Christian fortitude. But all these 
reminiscences ought to terminate in praise to God. 


There is a thought that will fortify and console souls 
at all times a sublime thought though overwhelm- 
ing to our weakness, and religion alone has been 
capable of putting it before us : " Rejoice in the Lord 
always I" It is by this joy which is wholly spiritual, 
accompanied by resignation and hope, that you will 
best honour the blessed memory, and will rejoice the 
heart of your saintly daughter as she watches over 
you. As for myself, I reckon upon the help which 
she promised me in the name of holy obedience, the 
efficacy of which I have already experienced more 
than once. Now that she is with God she fulfils her 
vocation as a Carmelite by interceding for the 

K. & T. Washbournt, Ltd., Paiernotttr Row, London 


Santa Barbara 



Series 9482